There has been a lot of internet discussion about this recent interview of Jerry Lewis:
A guy who used to fill 21 hours of live television can’t give more than one word answers?
Jerry has his defenders who point to his body of work, which is indeed extensive and (in many cases) impressive. He has also raised a lot of money for Muscular Dystrophy. I will happily give him all that.
But he is also an insufferable crank. For God sakes, he’s done enough interviews to know what he did was asinine. For a brief time he HOSTED a talk show (very brief -- he was epicly bad). And it’s not his first rodeo. Having been interviewed before THOUSANDS of times I would submit he knows better.
He simply chose to be a prick.
That’s a lot different from someone who is just painfully shy in front of a microphone. I had one of those when I was broadcasting for the Baltimore Orioles.
Remember Harold Baines? Great hitter, outstanding ballplayer. Played mostly for the White Sox and A’s (but also Texas, Cleveland, and ironically, Baltimore). He was a six-time All-Star.
Anyway, he was playing for the A's when I was with the O's and when Oakland came to town I thought he’d be a terrific pre-game show guest. After all, he was from Maryland.
But that’s not Jerry. That’s not “Mr. Showbiz.” He obviously knew better. And for my money, I don’t care who you are, or how famous or important you are, there’s such a thing as simple human kindness and common courtesy. So I don’t care if he’s beloved by the French, or was a comedy God, or at one time was America’s most popular entertainer – when people ask me about Jerry Lewis:
(Hey, I was able to answer in one word.)