Apatow accepted the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for best comedy on behalf of “Bridesmaids” (he produced it) Thursday night (Jan. 12). In his acceptance speech he had a few words for Lewis, who has said in the past that he doesn’t find women all that funny.
(Specifically, Lewis made some remarks in a 1998 appearance at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival that women doing comedy “sets me back a bit. … I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world. Much of the audience walked out after he said that.)
“Jerry Lewis once said that he didn’t women were funny,” Apatow said at the close of his speech. “So I’d just like to say, with all respect, f*** you.”
The women-aren’t-funny fallacy has reared its head periodically in the recent past. The late Christopher Hitchens wrote a Vanity Fair essay on the subject in 2007 (the magazine published a rebuttal the following year).
Apatow himself has come under criticism for how the movies he directs depict female characters (Google “Judd Apatow women” for a sample), but he’s never been in the Lewis-Hitchens camp. But we’re guessing there will be a round of harrumphing from some people who think he’s not respecting his elders.