Jerry Lewis bothered by women doing 'broad' comedy
05:00 AM, May 23, 2013
Jerry Lewis’s stance about women comedians has not mellowed over time.
The 87-year-old actor said that he is bothered by women doing “broad” comedy, when asked if he liked the work of Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy or Sarah Silverman. The comments came during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival Thursday.
“Trying to capture the very basis of what broad comedy is, I cannot see women doing that. It bothers me,” Lewis said. “I cannot sit and watch a lady diminish her qualities to the lowest common denominators. I just cannot do that.”
When asked who his favorite female comedian was, he responded “Cary Grant…Burt Reynolds…I don’t have any.”
In 1998, Lewis famously said watching women do comedy “sets me back a bit.” He has not backed off the stance.
Lewis is at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time in more than 20 years to promote his starring role in the film Max Rose. Lewis plays an 87-year-old jazz pianist dealing with the possibility that his long-time wife had been unfaithful when she was alive.
Lewis did very little of his famed comedy in the drama.
“It was a very difficult thing to do for the crazy clown who has been doing one thing for 60 years,” Lewis said. “Everything I did in the business in the last 60 years I had to put in a trunk and lock it.”
There were plenty of humorous moments at the press conference. When asked about his relationship to former partner Dean Martin, Lewis responded simply: “He died you know.”
As his fellow actors burst out laughing, Lewis continued about Martin, who died in 1995.
“Because when I arrived here and he wasn’t here,” he said. “I knew something was wrong.”