An outpouring of tributes and messages on social media and elsewhere followed the news that comedy king Jerry Lewis had died on Sunday at age 91.
Lewis was celebrated during his lifetime for starring in movies including “The Nutty Professor” and “The Bellboy” before launching the Muscular Dystrophy telethon.
The White House press secretary released the following statement to reflect on Lewis’ life: “Jerry Lewis kept us all laughing for over half a century, and his incredible charity work touched the lives of millions. Jerry lived the American Dream — he truly loved his country, and his country loved him back. Our thoughts are with his family today as we remember the extraordinary life of one of our greatest entertainers and humanitarians. Thank you, Jerry. You will be missed.”
Penn Jillette, of the comedy duo Penn and Teller, was among the first to break the news. “Jerry Lewis just died. When I met him, I [fell] apart, just sobbed,” he wrote. “I guess it’s time for that again.”
Minutes later, he tweeted a photo with another tribute: “How did my life get good enough that Jerry Lewis would smile at me? And how sad to lose him.”
Patton Oswalt was also among the first to react: “Jerry Lewis has passed on. I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful … haven.” he wrote.
William Shatner and George Takei both paid their respects. “Condolences to the family of Jerry Lewis. The world is a lot less funnier today,” Shatner wrote. “We have lost a great comedian and even greater heart. Thank you for the laughs and the feels, Jerry Lewis,” Takei penned.
Gilbert Gottfried posted a photo of the late comedian. “The French were right about him all along. RIP Jerry Lewis,” he captioned the picture.
Others reacted to Lewis’ often-criticized personal views on social issues. “even tho u said women arent funny rest in peeeeeeeaaacccccceeeeee,” wrote Chelsea Peretti.
See more reactions to Jerry Lewis’ death below: