Buddy Love’s Gratitude


“The Nutty Professor” (1963)

iheartfilm is dedicating the month of November to the lesson of Gratitude in films; the quality of being thankful.

“The Nutty Professor” (1963) (loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”) is a classic tale of insecurity, social ineptitude and wanting to be somebody, anybody else. Professor Julius Kelp (Jerry Lewis) is a sweet but awkward, book type that is constantly blowing up his lab (and students) to the frustration of Professor Warfield (Kelp’s boss). Fed up with his lot in life, Kelp decides to take matters into his own hands. He has to learn the lesson of Gratitude the hard way.


Professor Kelp

Professor Kelp goes to extremes to become the “big man” someone no one would dare bully because he’s the typical “90-pound weakling” getting sand kicked in his face at the beach.

Being a Science Professor, he comes up with the ingenious idea to concoct a potion which will turn him into the suave, ladies man that commands a room. Enter alter ego, Buddy Love. Buddy is the complete opposite of Professor Kelp. He’s a rude, ego maniac who thrills the kids at their hangout the “Purple Pit” with his musical prowess singing and playing “That Old Black Magic” on the piano. There, as Buddy Love he can hook up with one of his students, Stella Purdy, (Stella Stevens) who he’s secretly had a thing for.


Buddy Love

“The Purple Pit”

However, Kelp collides with his alter ego when his formula wears off while parked with Stella after they leave the “Purple Pit”. The next morning he’s left with the most horrific hangover in the annals of hangovers.


Kelp’s Hangover


Professor Kelp’s whole world comes crashing down when he’s told he must be a chaperone at the graduation dance while he’s also supposed to perform as Buddy Love.

This is when he publicly learns the lesson of Gratitude. His Buddy Love formula wears off at the beginning of his graduation performance and he’s forced to confess his deceit and mistake of trying to be someone else. He’s learned to be thankful and appreciative for his true self.

Moral of the story, love yourself. If you don’t, how can you expect anyone else to.





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