Seems to me I heard that the reason the French loved Jerry Lewis was that the French actor who did the voice-over was very, very talented and made Lewis funnier than he actually was. When the French actor died, so did Lewis’s popularity. Sorry, but I can’t remember his name or where I heard this.
I think you heard it here.
The link to the article is http://www.straightdope.com/columns/991001.html
I disagree. My personal belief is that the French have a distinct appreciation for homosexuality and certainly discerned the unspoken but quite obvious homosexual attraction between Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin…
that…or they want to get back at us for sending them Hemingway during WWII
I open my mouth and the whole world turns smart.
The reason behind the seemingly inexplicable French fascination with Jerry Lewis – a man who is to comedy what Jack Kevorkian is to healing – is in fact fairly simple. The French are profoundly insecure people what with their meager, though not insignificant, contributions to world culture (viz., Chateau Latour, fog lights, oral sex).
Coupled with an almost palpable jealousy of all things American – not the least of which are cheeseburgers, 250 channel cable TV, and ‘Baywatch’-- the French will seize upon anything that provides a measure of collective relief for their anemic zeitgeist. And nothing soothes a Parisian’s savage breast more than seeing America brought down a rung or two.
So it figures that by elevating Jerry Lewis to the level of preeminent American auteur, those wily Frenchies make all Americans look like complete loons. Any French actor/comedian/director/imbecile, regardless of the quality of their work, can’t help but appearing ‘extraordinaire et magnifique’.
(By the way, this also explains why Jimmy Carter is held in such high esteem by every snail eater from Normandy to Nice. <<Le ‘Jerry Lewis’ de la politique américaine.>>)
Carter has become: ‘Le “Jerry Lewis” de la politique américaine.’
Maybe the French are so tired of the inane over-the-top bigotry most Americans seem to feel for them that they’re grateful when one American treats them with the teensiest bit of respect.
Oh, Bubba, mon ami, the amount of crap that continental Europeans throw at Americans makes the amount of crap that the Brits throw at us pale by comparison. You cannot pick up a Spanish newspaper of any flavor without reading a savage anti-American editorial, normally completely based on jealousy and misinformation, and two or three heavily slanted stories about American news. I have here in my hand a copy of today’s La Vanguardia, the leading Barcelona newspaper, with the headline “USA gripped by millenial terrorist psychosis”. Seems that the Americans are all paranoid raving loonies because the FBI and police agencies have stepped up their alert level just in case some nutcase decides to do the milennium thing at Times Square and because a couple of wackos with explosives tried to slip over the Canadian border and got in the news. And you won’t believe French papers like Liberation and the apparently sober and moderate Le Monde Diplomatique until you read them. Fortunately, most continental European crap doesn’t get much publicity in the US. Thank God most of us don’t know their languages. If we did, we’d have a very different opinion of our “highly-cultured” friends in Western Europe. We would see them as just like us, but much more petty and small-minded.
I apologize to Coldfire in advance. As I understand it, idiotic anti-Americanism is much less widespread north of the Scheldt and east of the Rhine than in Latin Europe. Then again, I don’t know Dutch or German like I do Spanish, French, and Italian.
Sorry for hijacking the topic.
I know a young woman from France - she knows who Jerry Lewis is through here American beau - but claims that the Lewis French Connection is an artifact of the American media, not very significant over there.
She said they do really love Gershwin tho…