Jerry Lewis was immortalized in hand and foot prints at famed TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday, and said that women are funny, but not when they are crude.
The 88-year-old entertainer was criticized for expressing his distaste for female comedians a few years ago, but delivered clarifying comments on the matter after leaving his prints in cement outside the Chinese Theatre on Saturday.
Lewis praised Lucille Ball, and said she “went to the lowest level of the barrel, and was brilliant because of it.”
He also called Carol Burnett the “greatest female entrepreneur of comedy.”
“Seeing a woman project the kind of aggression that you have to project as a comic just rubs me wrong. And they’re funny — 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,” Lewis said.
“But when you have women like Carol Burnett, that’s the greatest female entrepreneur of comedy. I just saw Carol at the Smith Center at home in Vegas, and I was stunned by how brilliant she is and how brilliantly she brings the audience right up to her,” he said.
Lewis entertained the crowd during the ceremonies. He took his own pictures of guests from the stage, made funny faces, led the crowd in an impromptu version of Silent Night, cracked jokes, and even bit Quentin Tarantino in the hand.
“I just got bitten by Jerry Lewis,” said Tarantino, who introduced Lewis at the event, and spoke about the impact that Lewis had on his life.
“I really think this man is a treasure,” said Tarantino.
“He is one of the great actors/directors in the history of cinema,” Tarantino said.
Lewis was joined by his wife and daughter, whom he adopted in 1992. He asked her to take a bow during the festivities, in a rare public appearance together.
“This is an incredible time for me,” Lewis said.
“I have never, ever had an experience like this and had my daughter present. And this is the first time I’ve ever asked her to join me.”
The event was part of the Turner Classic Movie Classic Film Festival, and Lewis left the handprint ceremony to introduce a special screening of The Nutty Professor that evening.
“It was wonderful to see all of you,” Lewis said, smiling and waving to the audience as he left.
“I’ll see you all later,” said Lewis.
Image via Wikimedia Commons