New York City ha declared November 11, 2023 Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop Day, in honor of the late Bronx native ventriloquist Shari Lewis and her beloved sock puppet Lamb Chop. This day commemorates the extraordinary legacy of a resilient pioneer in television who educated generations of children. Commissioner of The Mayor’s office for Media and Entertainment, Pat Kaufman, presented the proclamation to Shari’s daughters, Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop at the Village East by Angelika during the World Premiere Screening of Shari & Lamb Chop at DOC NYC, America’s biggest documentary festival. The date was chosen to coincide with the world premiere of this feature length documentary.
Shari Lewis’ portrait is told in the upcoming documentary, Shari & Lamb Chop, directed by Lisa D’Apolito (Love, Gilda) and produced by White Horse Pictures and Mojo Global Arts, highlighting the empowering story of a multi-talented, continually underestimated woman who refused to give up in the face of myriad obstacles, who lost her voice for a time, and by finding it again, wound up enriching the lives of multiple generations of children. Shari leaves a profound legacy of lessons to live by in our ever-changing, complex world. Perhaps most powerfully: The more you are a friend to yourself, the better you will survive what the world throws at you.
As the daughter of the Official Magician of New York City and a performer with her own aspirations, Shari Lewis rose to fame at a young age. In 1960, while still in her early 20s, NBC gave Shari her first national network show, The Shari Lewis Show. Lewis quickly became a pioneer in television and changed the face of children’s entertainment. She created a playful, non-judgmental world for children and adults alike, inviting us not just to ‘be ourselves,’ but to be the best version of ourselves we can be. She used her puppets as her voice – to say the things that women couldn’t say in mid-century America and to take control over her personal story. Over five decades, she was able to straddle two very different worlds as a performer, conquering both children’s and more mature entertainment; from her Saturday morning program to her late-night talk show performances and Las Vegas club act. Then, after years of working to stay relevant, Shari defied ageism by having her biggest comeback in her 60’s, endearing her to a new generation with Lamb Chop’s Play-A-Long. Shari used her renewed popularity to reinforce her commitment to children’s education. Shari Lewis passed away in 1998, but her legacy lives on through Lamb Chop who continues to perform to this day alongside Shari’s daughter, Mallory Lewis.
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