After decades of making people laugh, Jerry Lewis has certainly earned the right to voice his opinions about standup comedy, but his latest comments about female comedians appear to be landing with a thud.
“Seeing a woman project the kind of aggression that you have to project as a comic just rubs me wrong,” Lewis said.
“I mean you got some very, very funny people that do beautiful work — but I have a problem with the lady up there that’s going to give birth to a child — which is a miracle,” the 88-year-old told the Associated Press.
The veteran entertainer and philanthropist made his latest controversial comments Saturday, after leaving his hand and footprints in cement outside Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre. He was joined by his family, and introduced by Quentin Tarantino. But if Lewis’s intention was to soften his previous statements about female comedians, the joke may be on him.
Last year at Cannes, he raised eyebrows by reiterating that in his mind, girls just can’t do comedy as expertly as the fellas. In particular, Lewis 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 film “Max Rose.”
Despite his dislike of crude female comics, Lewis did offer praise Saturday for two funny ladies. He called Lucille Ball “brilliant” and said Carol Burnett is “the greatest female entrepreneur of comedy.”
Still, Twitter users weren’t exactly thrilled with what Lewis had to say.
“All due respect but a ‘crude’ female comic, like Sarah Silverman, is one of the funniest comics Ive ever seen…” tweeted showbiz writer A Jason Tabrys. Another Twitter user called Lewis a “misogynist.”
All due respect but a "crude" female comic, like Sarah Silverman, is one of the funniest comics Ive ever seen & Jerry Lewis is 189 years old
— A Jason Tabrys (@jtabrys) April 13, 2014
Glad Jerry Lewis clarified his statement about women comedians by adding "I'm a misogynist- did you get that the first time? Just checking."
— Amy Vansant (@AmyVansant) April 13, 2014
Now, Jerry Lewis thinks "some" female comics are funny…Puts hands in cement & removes foot from mouth in separate ceremonies
— Dan Freeburg (@danof89) April 13, 2014