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Cannes: Jerry Lewis Skewered for Latest Bad-Taste, Sexist Remarks

The octogenarian comedian still doesn't think women are funny — then made matters worse by saying his favorite female comics were Cary Grant and Burt Reynolds

Somebody send Jerry Lewis a copy of "Bridesmaids" stat, because the octogenarian comedian still doesn't think women are funny.

The reaction to his latest bad-taste, sexist remarks at a Cannes press conference was swift — and fierce. 

Basking in the reflected glow of France's somewhat inexplicable love of all thing "Nutty Professor," Lewis raised eyebrows Thursday by reiterating that in his mind, girls just can't slip on a banana peel as expertly as the fellas.

Also read: Good Morning, Cannes: Father Figures, Funny Men and Teen Lesbians

In particular, he said he did not enjoy seeing women do broad comedy. "I can’t see women doing that. It bothers me," said Lewis, who was on hand at the Riviera festival for a screening of his new film “Max Rose."

Then, to make matters worse, when pressed about which female comics he finds amusing, the 87-year old Lewis evinced a keen knowledge of current cinematic icons, quipping in his usual bad taste, "Cary Grant and Burt Reynolds.”

Not a lot of folks found Lewis amusing. 

Jezebel weighed in with a cudgel, entitling its piece on Lewis' comments, "Crusty Old Dickhead Jerry Lewis Still Doesn’t Like Female Comedians" and labeling him a "superannuated comic misogynist."

On Twitter, comedian Rob Delaney referenced Lewis' long association with telethons by joking, "In his defense, Lucille Ball did invent muscular dystrophy," while Michael Ian Black asked, "okay but what is Jerry Lewis's opinion on plushies?"

Lewis' impolitic views aren't surprising. The comic has a history of making sexist and homophobic comments.

At the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in 1998, for instance, he said, ''I don't like any female comedians. A woman doing comedy doesn't offend me, but … I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world.''

That earned Lewis a sharp rebuke from Judd Apatow.

"Jerry Lewis once said that he didn't think women were funny, so I'd just like to say, with all respect, 'Fuck you!'" Apatow said while accepting a Critics Choice Award in 2012 for producing "Bridesmaids."

He's been even more out of step with current views on gay rights. While appearing on Australian television in 2008, he dismissed the country's favorite sport, by saying, "Oh, cricket? It's a fag game." He used the same slur on a 2007 telethon to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

It's not clear if he has a favorite gay comedian. Burt Reynolds?


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