Said foot made its way into said mouth last weekend, while Lewis being honored at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. The 73-year-old Lewis said he didn't find female comedians funny and considered women just "a producing machine" for babies.
Now, the onetime Ladies' Man star is clarifying his remarks. "For more than 65 years I have appeared on the stages of this, and many countries, screens, and concert halls," Lewis said in a statement yesterday. "During all of that time my intention was to make people laugh and not be offended."
Lewis added that his statements (like: "A woman doing comedy doesn't offend me, but sets me back a bit. I, as a viewer, have trouble with it. I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world") were misinterpreted. And he really does admire female comics--at least some of them.
"I love Whoopi Goldberg, I adore Elayne Boosler, I think Diane Ford is brilliant, and how could I forget the marvelous Phyllis Diller...," Lewis said.
Of course, Jerry should have stopped his mea culpa there. He didn't.
Sayeth the Nutty Professor: "But when women, doing comedy, do routines written for them by drill sergeants, I take objection. Their filth makes me and many ashamed to be in our business, and to me women doing anything, especially comedy, are looked upon by me as one of God's great miracles...they can make a baby."
Lewis also tried to convince longtime supporters of "Jerry's Kids" at the Muscular Dystrophy Association not to stop donating because of his earlier remarks.
"I see women as incredibly strong people who deserve our undying respect," Lewis said. "But all of the above doesn't sit right with the media and they have to trash someone to make a deadline. Please accept my humble apology and let's get back to where we were."