Jerry Lewis is not the first person to espouse the notion that women can’t be funny and he probably won’t be the last. In fact, this isn’t even the first time Lewis has done it himself.
But Thursday (May 23) at the Cannes Film Festival, Lewis was asked at a press conference who his favorite female comedians are. After “quipping” that his favorites are Cary Grant and Burt Reynolds, he says, “I don’t have any.”
When pressed as to whether comics like Melissa McCarthy or Sarah Silverman had changed his mind, the AP reports that Lewis says, “I cannot sit and watch a lady diminish her qualities to the lowest common denominator. I just can’t do that.”
Lewis made headlines back in 1998 when he participated in a Q&A at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and said, “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.”
Yes, we wouldn’t want to diminish those demure, baby-making qualities.
Perhaps director Judd Apatow said it best in his speech at the 2012 Critics Choice Awards when “Bridesmaids” won Best Comedy, saying, “Jerry Lewis once said that he didn’t women were funny. So I’d just like to say, with all respect,