Jerry Lewis was full of praise Saturday for fellow comedians Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett while having prints of his hands and feet immortalized in the cement outside the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Lewis, 88, hasn’t always been a big proponent of female comedians.
In fact, there was a time when Lewis said he didn’t like female comedians at all. But after criticism for his remarks, he changed his tune, saying Lucille Ball was “brilliant” and Carol Burnett is “the greatest female entrepreneur of comedy.”
During the ceremony, Lewis said Ball “went to the lowest level of the barrel, and she was brilliant because of it.”
Lewis told reporters he likes a funny female comedian like the next guy, but says he draws the line at crudeness and does not like to see a woman demean her femininity by succumbing to crudeness and aggressive humor.
“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.”
Lewis’s wife and daughter were on hand at the cement ceremony and the actor asked his daughter, Danielle Sara Lewis, to take a bow.
“This is an incredible time for me,” he 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.”
Lewis was to attend a 50th anniversary screening of one of his most famous films, The Nutty Professor, following the event.
Image via Wikimedia Commons