The Nutty Professor (franchise)

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The Nutty Professor
Based onCharacters created by Jerry Lewis
Release date
CountryUnited States
(Cumulative of 4 films)
Box office~$459,300,909
(Cumulative of 4 films)

The Nutty Professor franchise consists of American science fiction-slapstick comedies, including three theatrical films, one straight-to-home video release, a musical stage play, and a theatrical reboot currently in development. Based on an original story by Jerry Lewis, inspired loosely by Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson, the franchise comedically includes the basic concepts of psyche including id versus ego. The plot of each installment centers around scientists with genius-level intellect, yet awkward and nerdy social skills. Upon meeting beautiful women the respective professors develop potions that transforms them into a sophisticated, confident, popular, and attractive alternate personality; albeit villainous personas by nature. In parodying Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the franchise as a whole explores the importance of self worth.[1][2][3][4]

The original film was a success both critically and financially, and has earned the status of being regarded as a comedy classic.[5][6] Noteworthy for being ranked #99 by the American Film Institute on its 100 Years...100 Laughs list,[7] the National Film Preservation Board inducted the movie into the Library of Congress the National Film Registry in 2004.[8] A direct-sequel was eventually released in 2008, albeit an animated straight-to-home video release. Lewis reprised his role, though the movie centered around his grandson instead. The film gain little-to-no significant media attention with Common Sense Media providing a 2/5 star rating, and its consensus recommending the original instead.[9] Lewis continued involvement with the franchise as executive producer and the remake film and its sequel, then later served as director of a musical stage production in 2012.[10]

The remake starring Eddie Murphy and released in 1996, was a smash-hit at the box office and attained overall favorable reviews from critics.[11][12] A sequel was released in 2000, to mixed critical reception ranging from good-to-generally unfavorable and negative reviews, and though it fared well financially it was far from the success of its predecessor.[13][14][15]

A reboot is in development, from Project X Entertainment.[16]


Film U.S.
release date
Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s)
The Nutty Professor June 4, 1963 (1963-06-04) Jerry Lewis Jerry Lewis & Bill Richmond Ernest D. Glucksman and Arthur P. Schmidt
The Nutty Professor June 28, 1996 (1996-06-28) Tom Shadyac David Sheffield & Barry W. Blaustein
and Tom Shadyac & Steve Oedekerk
Brian Grazer and Russell Simmons
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps July 28, 2000 (2000-07-28) Peter Sagal David Sheffield & Barry W. Blaustein
and Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz
Steve Oedekerk
and David Sheffield & Barry W. Blaustein
Brian Grazer
The Nutty Professor: Face the Fear November 25, 2008 (2008-11-25) Logan McPherson
& Paul Taylor
Evan Spiliotopoulos George Paige and Barbara Zelinski
Untitled reboot TBA TBA TBA TBA James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein

The Nutty Professor (1963)

Main article: The Nutty Professor (1963 film)

Professor Julius Kelp is a brilliant science teacher, at a university. However, he has a problem with attracting women due to his clumsy, awkward, inarticulate nature. Women deem him as unattractive. Kelp becomes obsessed with impressing a beautiful student named Stella. With his background in chemistry, Kelp decides to develop a potion that will change him into a different person. His new suave alter ego named Buddy Love, is challenged with winning Stella's affections before his short-supply of potion is depleted.[17]

The Nutty Professor (1996)

Main article: The Nutty Professor (1996 film)

Brilliant and obese scientist Sherman Klump invents a miraculous weight-loss solution. After a date with chemistry student Carla Purty goes badly, a depressed Klump tries the solution on himself. Upon taking the potion, Kelp instantly loses 250 pounds. The side effects, besides becoming physically fit include a second personality who calls himself Buddy Love and is obnoxiously self-assertive, conceited alternate personality. Buddy proves to be more popular than Sherman, but his arrogance and bad behavior quickly spiral out of control. During these series of events, Kelp must decide whether he enjoys popularity, or values self-respect.[18]

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)

Main article: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

After choosing to love himself, over his popular and assertive alternate personality, Professor Sherman Klump has found love in a beautiful and kind woman named Denise. In preparations for their wedding, his undesired alter-ego named Buddy Love begins taking over. Though Klump has ceased taking his self-improving potion, Love continues to present himself and is determined to stay. After a number of appearances, Klump extracts his alternate personality's genes and decides rid the world of his pesky partner, at the risk of his own psychological decline. A laboratory incident including the accidental combination of the genes with dog hair, result in Buddy Love taking on his own existence outside of Klump's body. Unaware of the Love's new existence, the engaged couple begin to perfect a new rejuvenation formula and their fortune seems assured, until Love appears and steals it. Professor Klump's cognitive abilities continue to decline. In a final effort to defeat Buddy Love, the Professor develops a new and more potent formula that will degenerate the villain back to his state of genetic material. Using Love's canine DNA against him, he defeats him with the use of a tennis ball covered in the new potion. As Klump slips away, Denise helps him drink the genetic matter, restoring his genius intellect and resetting everything back to normal. The pair continue to prepare for their wedding, and are married.[19]

The Nutty Professor: Facing the Fear (2008)

Main article: The Nutty Professor (2008 film)

An animated legacy-sequel to the original film, the film follows the workings of Julius Kelp's grandson.

Harold Kelp is an aspiring inventor, who struggles to perfect his experiments. Intimidated by his grandfather's legacy, Harold has dreams of his failure taking the form of a giant monster. After coming into conflict with a group of angry individuals involved in one of his demonstrations, Harold decides to attend a science academy run by his grandfather, Professor Julius Kelp. Upon arriving at the school, Harold meets a beautiful woman named Polly McGreggor, with whom he becomes infatuated with. Determined to win her affection, Harold finds and takes his granfather's secret potion. The elixir unleashes Harold's confident, self-loving alternate personality that calls himself Jack. Though initially popular with the fellow students, Jack's outrageous behavior gets out of control and causes more mischief than Harold had anticipated. Due to Harold's continued time evolving into Jack, his grades begin slipping. Learning of Harold's actions, Julius once again takes the potion to become Buddy Love. In his alternate form as Buddy Love, Julius teaches his grandson to appreciate who he is and to be comfortable in his own skin. Harold's anxieties are accidentally unleashed by one of Professor Kelp's inventions, as the visionary monster from his nightmares. Harold bravely faces his fears, and defeats the creature. In doing so, Harold says goodbye to Jack once and for all before sharing a kiss with Polly.[20]


In August 2020, it was announced that a reboot of The Nutty Professor franchise was in development. James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein serve as producers, while the search for additional talent is ongoing. The movie is under development from Project X Entertainment.[16][21]

Main cast and characters

Character Film
The Nutty Professor The Nutty Professor Nutty Professor II:
The Klumps
The Nutty Professor:
Facing the Fear
Untitled reboot
Julius F. Kelp
Buddy Love
Jerry Lewis Jerry Lewis TBA
Stella Purdy-Kelp Stella Stevens
Baby Kelp Jerry Lewis
Mr. Elmer Kelp Howard Morris
Mrs. Edwina Kelp Elvia Allman
Harold Kelp
Jack Love
Drake Bell
Polly McGregor Britt Irvin
Sherman Klump
Buddy Love
Eddie Murphy
Carla Purty Jada Pinkett
Denise Gaines-Klump Janet Jackson
Papa Cletus Klump Eddie Murphy
Mama Anna Klump
Grandma Ida Mae Jenson
Ernie Klump, Sr.
Ernie Klump, Jr. Jamal Mixon
Petey Klump Frank Welker
Mr. Gaines Richard Gant
Mrs. Gaines Anna Maria Horsford

Additional crew & production details

Film Crew/Detail
Composer Cinematographer Editor(s) Production
Running time
The Nutty Professor Walter Scharf W. Wallace Kelley John Woodcock Paramount Pictures,
Jerry Lewis Films
Paramount Pictures 1hr 47mins
The Nutty Professor David Newman Julio Macat Don Zimmerman Imagine Entertainment,
Brian Grazer Productions,
Tom Shadyac Films
Universal Pictures 1hr 35mins
Nutty Professor II:
The Klumps
Dean Semler William Kerr Universal Pictures,
Peter Segal Films,
Imagine Entertainment,
Brian Grazer Productions,
Shady Acres Entertainment
1hr 47mins
The Nutty Professor:
Facing the Fear
Mike Shields James Boshier & Logan McPherson Kaleidoscope TWC,
Mainframe Entertainment Inc.,
The Weinstein Company
Genius Products 1hr 15mins
Untitled reboot TBA TBA TBA Planet X Entertainment TBA TBD


Box office & financial performance

Film Box office gross Box office
(per release year)
Budget Ref.(s)
North America Other territories Worldwide All time
North America
The Nutty Professor (1963) $13,343,056 $5,656,944 $19,000,000 #23 not available $7,630,000 [22][23][24][25][26][27]
The Nutty Professor (1996) $128,814,019 $145,147,000 $273,961,019 #8 #8 $55,000,000 [28][29]
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps $123,309,890 $43,030,000 $166,339,890 #16 #26 $84,000,000 [30][31]
The Nutty Professor: Facing the Fear video sales/rentals
not available
video sales/rentals
not available
video sales/rentals
not available
not available not available not available
Untitled reboot N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Totals $265,466,965 $193,833,944 $459,300,909 x̅ #11.75[lower-alpha 1] x̅ #8.5[lower-alpha 2] $146,630,000


  1. This is an approximate average, based on the all-time standing of each theatrically released film.
  2. This is an approximate average, based on the all-time standing of each theatrically released film.

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Tomatometer Metascore
The Nutty Professor (1963) 85%
(26 critic reviews)
The Nutty Professor (1996) 64%
(55 critic reviews)
(20 critic reviews)[32]
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps 26%
(88 critic reviews)
(34 critic reviews)[34]
The Nutty Professor II: Facing the Fear N/A N/A N/A
Untitled reboot TBD TBD TBD

In the media



  1. Cohen, Herbert J. (July 5, 2015). "The Nutty Professor (1963), directed by Jerry Lewis". Kosher Movies. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  2. Daniels, Alexandria. "3 Valuable Lessons Learned From 'The Nutty Professor'". Izzy & Liv: Culture.Confidence.Soul. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  3. Mendelson, Scott (June 28, 2016). "20 Years Ago, 'The Nutty Professor' Brought Eddie Murphy Back By Destroying His Edgy Persona". Forbes. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  4. Berardinelli, James (1996). "Nutty Professor, The (United States, 1996): A movie review". Reel Views. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  5. Hoberman, J. (June 12, 2014). "Dino? Ol' Blue Eyes? All the Above, by Jerry". The New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  6. Lumenick, Lou (June 7, 2014). "Why 'The Nutty Professor' is still a classic after 51 years". New York Post. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  7. "AFI's 100 YEARS...100 LAUGHS: The 100 Funniest American Movies Of All Time". American Film Institute. 2000. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  8. "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  9. "The Nutty Professor - Movie Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  10. NG, David (August 2, 2012). "Jerry Lewis' 'Nutty Professor' musical opens in Nashville". LA Times. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  11. Ebert, Roger Ebert (June 28, 1996). "The Nutty Professor". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  12. Gleiberman, Owen (June 28, 1996). "The Nutty Professor". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  13. O'Hehir, Andrew (July 28, 2000). ""Nutty Professor II: The Klumps"". Salon. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  14. Lane, Anthony. The New Yorker, August 7, 2000. The Fat of the Land
  15. Leydon, Joe (July 27, 2000). "The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps". Variety. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Kroll, Justin (August 24, 2020). "New 'Nutty Professor' Movie In The Works From Project X's James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein". Deadline. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  17. Variety Staff (December 31, 1962). "The Nutty Professor (1962)". Variety. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  18. Variety Staff (December 31, 1995). "The Nutty Professor". Variety. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  19. Leydon, Joe (July 27, 2000). "The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps". Variety. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  20. Herman, Joly (September 20, 2019). "The Nutty Professor Movie Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  21. Deadline Hollywood (August 24, 2020). "'NUTTY PROFESSOR' REBOOT IN THE WORKS WITH 'SCREAM 5' PRODUCERS". Project X Entertainment. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  22. Box office information for film in France at Box Office story
  26. "Top Rental Films of 1963", Variety, 8 January 1964, pg 37.
  33. "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  35. "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search". Retrieved 22 September 2018.

External links

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