Matthew Lickona 8:30 a.m., Oct. 20
Jerry Lewis deserves every insult people throw his way in retaliation for telling the crowd at a 2000 comedy festival, “I don’t like any female comedians.” It's a slap in the face to Lucy, Joan Rivers, Lily Tomlin, Lisa Lampanelli, Jean Arthur, Sandra Bernhard, Rosalind Russell, and countless other actresses and female stand-up comedians born with funny bones.
I would feel a lot better if Judd Apatow's "F-ck you" to Jerry Lewis, issued publicly at last week's Critic's Choice Awards, wasn't uttered in defense of something as sexist and inept as Bridesmaids. What do people of taste think of when asked to cite a favorite scene from a Jerry Lewis movie? Would it be the elegant POV tracking shot in The Nutty Professor that leads up to the big Buddy Love reveal? (Sadly, this clip stops just before the jerky move-in the first time we see Buddy. Now THAT'S how to use a zoom lens!)
How about the inspired surrealist poetry of night suddenly becoming day with the click of a Polaroid in The Bellboy?
Go to 4:30.
When it comes to Jerry "Master of Mime" Lewis at his smartest, most subtle, is there anything in the annals of comedy to surpass the marvelous, marvelous Dunkin' Donuts scene from Hardly Working?
What signature image comes to mind when the discussion turns to Bridesmaids?
That's right! A shot of an obese woman moving her bowels in a bathroom sink because the "porcelain bus" was already being driven by an equally messy cohort. Nice use of the Panavision frame, though. The comedic brilliance of this shot is sure to be lost in the pan-and-scan version.
When it comes to comedy, Judd Apatow and his merry band of pubescent pranksters aren't fit to carry Jerry Lewis whoopee cushion. No comedic filmmaker from the '50s or '60s, with the possible exceptions of Jacques Tati or Jerry's mentor Frank Tashlin, has taught me more about the importance of and artistry behind movie comedy than Jerry Lewis. Jerry is also the only comic this side of Woody confident enough to infuse his on-screen persona with an honest, healthy fear of the opposite sex. Apatow leaves his "boys" having to find some other way of dealing with all the pent-up homoeroticism on display.
I learned one thing from watching Bridesmaids: when it comes to acting like pigs, women can be just as low and obnoxious as men. Ha! Ha! What a refreshing, well-needed feminist take, Judd. Fuck you and the Bridesmaids you rode in on!
Click to witness Apatow at his most ignorant.