Jerry Lewis Backtracks Comments on Women in Comedy, Lauds Ball, Burnett

Image: Jerry Lewis Backtracks Comments on Women in Comedy, Lauds Ball, Burnett

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 03:00 PM

By Jonna Lorenz

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On Saturday, Jerry Lewis attempted to clarify comments he has made against female comics, calling Lucille Ball and Carole Burnett brilliant. But the 88-year-old entertainer said he still is uncomfortable watching women perform 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, according to The Associated Press.

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Lewis made the comments at a ceremony to leave his hand and footprints in cement outside Hollywood's TLC Chinese Theater on Saturday.

Lewis called Burnett “the greatest female entrepreneur of comedy” and said Ball "went to the lowest level of the barrel, and she was brilliant because of it."

Lewis drew criticism at a Cannes Film Festival press conference in May, when he said he doesn’t have any favorite female comics, echoing sentiments he made at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in 1998 when he said, “I don’t like any female comedians.”

In 1998, his audience reportedly left after he said he thinks of a woman “as a producing machine that brings babies in the world,” according to Time.

Lewis showed off his comic style during Saturday’s ceremony, which was part of the Turner Classic Movie Classic Film Festival.

Lewis made faces, took pictures of photographers, and bit Quentin Tarantino, who introduced him.

"I really think this man is a treasure," Tarantino said, according to USA Today. "He is one of the great actors/directors in the history of cinema."

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