I am referring to the recent interview between Jerry Lewis and reporter Andy Lewis, which is being headlined across the Internet as: “The 7 Minute Trainwreck”. And no, they’re not related.
I’m sticking up for the reporter, Andy Lewis
Andy’s voice is noticeably nervous and uncomfortable, due to Jerry’s belligerent and uncooperative demeanour. I can’t say I can figure out why, but there’s a reason Jerry was behaving like that. I don’t think it was the reporting style. Jerry Lewis didn’t want to do the interview and he didn’t like the reporter. I am 100% sure there’s a reason behind his contempt. Something happened prior to the interview and Jerry had a bee in his bonnet. It’s that simple. Maybe he just didn’t lie being interviewed by someone with the same surname?
Andy didn’t want to stuff up the Interview. He was doing his best. Personally, I think he did a good job, but Jerry just wasn’t having it. You can hear the pauses and awkwardness when perfectly legitimate questions were being met with blatant arrogance. In light of this, I genuinely believe that Andy did a pretty decent job of trying respectfully come up with a new question; even as each new question as met with the same previous belligerence and poor manners.
I’ve noticed something about Hollywood actors. As they age, they become walking caricatures of their careers and personalities. Not just physically, but characteristically as well. If you think about it, it’s really true. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. I have nothing against the guy and “The Terminator” (the first one) is still my all time favourite movie, but the man has become walking caricature of himself. It’s like his whole personality is limited to the repetition of quotes and cliches that he knows people will enjoy; as well as his story on “how he made it”, which comes out in almost every interview. The same can be said for Sylvester Stallone and now.. Jerry Lewis! Jerry is so wrapped up in who he is as an entertainer, that when he is not being pandered to in away that is in line with him being able to “act out the personality”, he gets sulky. It’s really that simple as far as I’m concerned.
Look at Pamela Anderson, Dolly Parton, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper. They’re all caricatures of themselves from their prime. They didn’t move with the times. I am being slightly mean, I know — calling people “caricatures”, but I’m sorry, it’s true. There are more: Steven Tyler, Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Richards, Hulk Hogan.. they’re all caricatures of themselves from their prime. They’re living in the past.
One of the criticisms people are leaving in comments around the Internet is that Andy was being insulting by asking about things referring to age. However, lot of people take pride in being older, and get excited about demonstrating that they “still have it”; just ask Arnold or Stallone — or even Stallone’s mother for that matter! I’ve personally witnessed older people revelling in excitement upon being praised for still being able to do something. ie: Van Damme is still doing spin kicks on request. He’s 56. I guarantee you we’ll be watching Van Damme perform spin kicks and the splits upon request in interviews when he is 70. Mark my words. Jean-Claude Van Damme is headed straight for the caricature list too. I personally think the interviewer did a pretty good job of trying to keep the interview going, with someone who clearly couldn’t be bothered being a part of it, for reasons only Jerry knows.
It’s easy to criticise the interviewer. However, the criticism is rendered void due to the fact that Jerry clearly did not want to be interviewed. Andy was noticeably nervous, and I don’t blame him. He was being treated like he was some kind of cockroach, not worthy to even be in the same room. Had Jerry displayed even the slightest bit of kindness, it’s entirely conceivable that the questions would have flourished and blossomed into something more fruitful.
Being old doesn’t give you the right to lose your manners. Jerry was being an ass. Period. The end. No return.
Jerry Lewis: For the Kids
Younger people will have no idea who Jerry Lewis is. This will help you out: