Unseen Footage From Jerry Lewis Movie Surfaces

Unseen Footage From Jerry Lewis Movie Surfaces

Rare footage of what may be the worst movie ever made has surfaced.

Jerry Lewis starred in and directed The Day the Clown Cried, but he was so embarrassed he swore it would never be seen. Now, clips from the 1972 movie have surfaced for the first time on YouTube and they're re-igniting the controversy.

The Hollywood Reporter Deputy Editor Seth Abramovitch told INSIDE EDITION, "A fan dug it up and put it on YouTube over the weekend and it became an overnight sensation."

The Day the Clown Cried is the story of a German clown who entertains children on the train to the Auschwitz death camp during World War II. He walks into the gas chamber with them determined to entertain the kids in their final moments. Hard to see how that wouldn't work, right?

"He had good intentions with the movie, and he admits that when he saw what he did, he totally missed the mark," said Abramovitch.

In a clip from the Today show that aired Tuesday, Jerry Lewis swore as recently as January that the movie would never be shown.

"I was embarrassed. I was ashamed of the work and I was grateful that I had the power to contain it and never let anybody see it," said Lewis.

But he underestimated the power of the internet.

How bad is it? Comedian Harry Shearer, one of the few people to have seen it said, "This movie is so drastically wrong (and) wildly misplaced."

The clips come from a European TV crew that Jerry Lewis allowed on the set in 1972 as he directed the movie and did his own make-up.

"Where it used to be a joke of a movie, I think now it's become a cult fascination and has added to his mystique. I don't think he's mortified," said Abramovitch.

Eighty-seven-year-old Lewis was once the King of Comedy. He hoped that The Day the Clown Cried could bring him Oscar glory, until he watched the final cut and realized it was in his own words, "Bad, bad, bad."