Footage from Jerry Lewis' The Day the Clown Cried, perhaps the most infamous unreleased film of all time, leaked online on Saturday. Lewis starred in and directed the film, which told the story of a German circus clown who was arrested by the Nazis and, as punishment, was ordered to lead children into the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
Sandy Weill turns 76 today. Jean-Georges Vongerichten is turning 52. Mixologist Sasha Petraske is 36. Peaches Geldof is turning 20. Brooke Burns is 31. Congressman Joseph Crowley turns 47. CNN's Reynolds Wolf is 39. Actress Lauren Graham turns 42. Jerry Lewis is 83. Game show host Chuck Woolery turns 68. Erik Estrada is 60. And Flavor Flav celebrates his 50th today.
82-year-old national treasure—in France, but whatever, France is a nation—Jerry Lewis has gone to Australia with his new stage extravaganza. It's a throwback to the good old days of variety shows, incorporating "show tunes with a 24-piece band, excerpts from his scores of movies and television shows, and his trademark slapstick comedy." (How a very realistic-looking prop glock fits into all this we do not know.) Asked at a press conference if he had any plans to retire or take a break, the comedian joked, "A break? No, why? You got something better to do?...Don't you understand that when you croak, it's for a ve-e-e-e-ry long time." Amid hearty nods of approval, he was then asked what he thought of the sport cricket, which elicited a regrettable dropping of the dreaded pink F-bomb:
And our Concealed Weapon Charge of the Day award goes to foreign comedy treasure Jerry Lewis, 82, who was found to be carrying an unregistered handgun at the Detroit airport today. Lewis's manager Claudia Marghilano later explained it was a "a hollowed-out prop gun" that Lewis "sometimes twirls" before weepy dollar-store runs. [AP]
Having deemed Jerry Lewis's recent off-color remark about an "illiterate faggo" (he stopped himself before completing the final hard consonant) as being unacceptable televised-fundraising humor, self-appointed Voice of the Downtrodden Gay GLAAD demanded an apology from the comedian on their website. Lewis has since released the following statement:
It was hard to really find fault with Jerry Lewis after he recently announced to Entertainment Tonight's cameras that Merv Griffin "deserved to die," seeing as the sentiment was fundamentally well-intentioned, and probably originated in the defunct part of his brain devoted to censoring statements about how deceased friends had it coming to them. But Lewis was clearly pushing his luck with this impromptu comic riff from his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, in which the Cinderfella star made light of the various social challenges being met by a particular camera operator's son.
Jerry Lewis, who is either a French comedian or the guy who sang "Great Balls of Fire" and married his cousin, we forget which, called someone an "illiterate fag" during his annual Labor Day MDA telethon on live TV. Now he will never guest-star on 'Gray's Anatomy'! Also, did you know "fag" is the new "f-bomb"? [TMZ]
We probably felt the same way that you did upon reading this headline from USAToday.com: Could Jerry Lewis, America's Clown Prince and host of countless muscular dystrophy telethons, have possibly uttered such callous words about recently departed friend and contemporary Merv Griffin? Well, yes—yes he did, but as in all headline-grabbing celebrity soundbites, context is everything, and what might have come off like the equivalent of fellow prostate cancer sufferer Lewis taking an intermittent pee on Griffin's freshly filled grave was instead part of a larger interview, airing tomorrow on Entertainment Tonight, in which Lewis expressed frustration that Griffin didn't immediately seek the medical care he required to beat the stubborn disease.