Jerry Lewis still dislikes female comedians, likely still thinks of them as baby-making machines

By | May 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm | 9 comments | News, TV/Movies | Tags: , , ,

Remember that time in 1998 when Jerry Lewis told a crowd of 1,000 at the Aspen comedy festival about his disdain for female comedians and couldn’t even bring himself to admit Lucille Ball was funny? Well, it seems the 87-year-old is committed to the cause. Today at a press conference at the Cannes International Film Festival, the iconic performer was asked if he had changed his position on female comedians, especially in light of the popularity of performers like Melissa McCarthy and Sarah Silverman.

When asked who his favorite female comedians were, Lewis explained he liked Cary Grant and Burt Reynolds and then said, “I don’t have any [female favorites]” according to the Associated Press, adding, “I can’t see women doing that. It bothers me. I cannot sit and watch a lady diminish her qualities to the lowest common denominator. I just can’t do that.”

Is there some sort of absurd, backhanded compliment in there? Is Lewis saying that women are superior to men and therefore it pains him to see the fairer species mixed up in the dirty sport of comedy? At the Aspen festival, he defended his opinion, saying, “A woman doing comedy doesn’t offend me but sets me back a bit. I, as a viewer, have trouble with it. I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world.”

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Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • Steven Ely

    Remember that time Jerry Lewis said, “I love Whoopi Goldberg, I adore Elayne Boosler, I think Diane Ford is brilliant, and how could I forget the marvelous Phyllis Diller…” Also, here is a YouTube video in which Jerry talks at length praising Carol Burnett’s comedy.
    Jerry Lewis just doesn’t like the lewd crass comedians like Sarah Silverman doing mean-spirited shock jokes. Jerry Lewis explained, “When women, doing comedy, do routines written for them by drill sergeants, I take objection. Their filth makes me and many ashamed to be in our business, and to me women doing anything, especially comedy, are looked upon by me as one of God’s great miracles…they can make a baby. I see women as incredibly strong people who deserve our undying respect.”

  • lyle

    nah, hes pretty much right on the money here. Women may find other women funny, men usually dont.

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  • Rebootd

    Asshat is right.

  • Gary Brumley

    New societal norms? The ability to stuff all garbage into a wide open brain. Knock your selves out. Less is more ? Internet was invented so we can stuff heads with commercials and societal norms? Just outside the window is a small insect feasting on a thistle bloom. I am amazed daily on the nature net. What the norm is takes me to a room too full of normals being obnoxiously normal

  • NativeSonKY

    WTF? Women reduced to a “baby producing MACHINE”?? I know this old, old generation has a lot of trouble adapting to new societal norms, but this is beyond the pale! I suppose he lives in a bubble though and not a lot of mind-altering discussion occurs around him. Sad. Very sad. Yes, an asshat is another way to say that :-)

  • Kelly Carlin-McCall


    • maxzumstein

      Hey come on now, how could you say that about Jerry Lewis? The man is a hero, and it’s clear that his measured, progressive, logical approach to the changing landscape of comedy (as demonstrated in totally-not-asinine-quotes like these) is what’s kept him totally relevant and not turned him into a living punchline in the last few decades, right? Right?

      • Kelly Carlin-McCall

        Your logic has trumped my emotion.

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