It wasn't the Jerry Lewis shtick doctors at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center thought they had signed up to see.
Instead, the whiniest voice and goofiest walk on the silver screen stopped by to deliver a serious, personal message.
"The patients are fine," the veteran comedian told about 100 health care professionals Friday. "You people have to lighten up."
Lewis, who for 48 years has worked with physicians who treat neuromuscular diseases, lectured on the benefits of laughter, selflessness and simplicity. Such childlike behavior, he said, offers as much healing power for doctors and nurses as it does for their patients.