Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lewis Flack


I'll make this quick.

I'm a huge fan of the Rat Pack, and that entire era in show business. One of my biggest regrets is the fact that I'll never be able to see Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter -- hell, even Joey Bishop -- perform live. They represent a time when comedy and camaraderie went hand in hand, both onstage and off; when a martini and a cigarette within view of cameras wouldn't earn you an automatic censure and accusations of irresponsibility from six or seven advocacy groups with cleverly acronymed names; when the attitude was, "If the person I'm ribbing isn't offended, for Christ's sake you shouldn't be -- now shut the fuck up before I belt you."

Jerry Lewis comes from this era (although admittedly I can't see him ever belting anyone).

Over the weekend, during his annual tribute to cut-rate entertainment and giant glowing wheelchairs known as the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, Lewis was going off on one of the comedic rants that were once par for the course among his ilk when he rattled off a gay slur.

While talking to one of his cameramen, Lewis said that the guy's family had shown up and wanted to see him. "Yeah, Bart your older one -- and Jesse, the illiterate faggot, you know him right?"

As soon as it popped out of his mouth, he realized what he'd said -- and what decade it was -- and immediately tried to take it back.

Now look, I'm not saying that indiscriminately spouting the word "faggot" on national television is a good idea. On the other hand, it took all of ten seconds before the usual suspects, in particular Neil Giuliano of GLAAD, to begin offering themselves up to any television show on the dial that might be interested in hearing their self-righteous indignation directed toward an 81-year-old comedic fossil who, like him or not, has done more genuine good for humanity than they'd do if they lived to be twice that age.

I'm constantly suspicious of guys like Giuliano, who are always more than willing to throw sanity, reason and anyone they feel slighted by under the bus just to make a point which furthers their particular agenda. What makes me so wary is the nagging understanding that if tomorrow morning, Giuliano woke up to a world where gays and lesbians lived without persecution, he'd be out of a job -- ergo he needs the battle to continue unabated if he wants to see himself on television (and if you argue that he doesn't and his intentions are entirely altruistic, you're either naive or incredibly stupid).

Besides, you wanna know what's really offensive and intolerable -- a professional victim.

Jerry Lewis knows what he said was wrong; he's already apologized for it. Now leave him the hell alone already.

Jesus, I can only imagine the trouble Frank and Dino would've gotten in these days for the kind of things they used to say to Sammy.

12 comments:

Al said...

As Chris Rock said..
"Come on, man. Lie to me, Jerry! What the fuck you doing, Jerry? Put a stick in the kid's back, prop him up or some shit! Come on, call Steven Spielberg. Get some special effects on this shit! Get George Lucas on the case! CGl, motherfucker!

What the fuck! Tie some string around him, make a cripple puppet or some shit.

Lie to me!

Where the fuck's the money going? What, to keep Jerry's hair black? Where's the money going? Think about it.

Frank Sinatra: dead. Dean Martin: dead.
Sammy Davis: dead.

Jerry Lewis got a full head of black hair. And if you ain't gonna cure the disease, cut the kids a check!"

slouchmonkey said...

"Jesus, I can only imagine the trouble Frank and Dino would've gotten in these days for the kind of things they used to say to Sammy."

ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY!!! I re-watched Blazing Saddles this weekend. I don't think it could be made today, because of the outrage, the racial slurs.

Why is everyone so offended?

RottweilerTOM said...

Dinosaur? Yes. A throw-back he is, but no excuses for the guy. Am I offended - no. Am I offended by GLAAD's interest in getting in front of the cameras - no.

But no matter what, Jerry will get what he deserves for 24 hr hopefully then that will end it - simply as a reminder that he can't use his position to throw shit around the airways - just like when he said women comedians should be home having babies.

The whole ratpack were a bunch of doucebags anyway. Sorry Chez.

Al said...

None of Mel Brooks's later movies even came CLOSE to the edginess of Blazing Saddles...but then again, much of that had to do with Richard Pryor's writing efforts not just Mel losing his balls.

I respect Jerry's efforts - but 'fag' comment aside, he was just painful to watch even for the few minutes I tuned in. It was like watching a broken down horse try to finish up the 1/4 mile...just as excruciating as seeing Dick Clark last new years.

Not even worth it to take him to task - he's a faded ghost of a guy that was never that damn funny anyways. "Hey laydeeeeee"...oy.

At least he's raised a shitload of money for medical research. $63 mil should buy a few stem cells. ;-)

demondoll said...

Besides, you wanna know what's really offensive and intolerable -- a professional victim. Yes.

Leave the poor ol' fella alone. We've all heard worse.

JEDI MASTER VODA said...

You know, this is just the latest in a recent string of prejudicial offenses you have authored, and I just can't take it any more.

I refer of course to your recent post that leveled a not-so-subtle juxtaposition between Anderson Cooper and cunnilingus. The implied innuendo is obvious, and I am frankly so offended that I am forced to reveal a long-closeted fact that must now endure that cold, bright light of full disclosure, for my own peace of mind as well as that of every other man of my kind.

I'm sorry that I have to use your blog to do this, my friend, but you leave me with no other choice.

I am -- and have been for much of my life -- a practitioner of cunnilingus.

There. *Whew!* What a relief. It's out there. Wow... I feel that a tremendous burden has been lifted off of me, a great, suffocating weight, a smothering, wet sensation that I've had to live with all these years. I've been taking it on the chin for far too long, endured all the tongue lashings, eaten the humble pie. All those meals alone down at the "Y," boxed in, up at the crack of dawn. I've wiped the sweat from my brow and plowed ahead, bravely into the deep.

Yes, my name is Votar, and I'm proud to declare that I am a cunnilinguist!

I'm forming a support group, an action committee for others to join in my cause. Cunnilinguists Uniting Neighbors with Tolerance needs your support! C.U.N.T. will lick the competition, we will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat! This issue needs to be aired out once and for all, and left fresh and clean like a warm summer's eve.

Join me! Our first meeting is next week. Tang will be served.

Kell said...

Last night I saw Jerry Lewis punch out Sandra Bernhard on the brilliant "King of comedy". It was gold!

Ps: Rottweilertom, women comedians SHOULD be at home having babies.

Chez said...

Votar, what you do with the neighborhood children is your own damn business.

Chez said...

God I love you Kell.

Robo said...

[proudly wearing new C.U.N.T. button on lapel]

Karl and Mia said...

Wow. All this time I thought Jerry Lewis WAS gay. Ho hum, life goes on...

RottweilerTOM said...

What was ever "funny" about the guy, anyway?