Alrighty, before poor, overworked JillGat blows a gasket reminding us, the article may be found HERE http://www.straightdope.com/columns/991001.html . You’re welcome, Jill. (Thank you, Capn Crud.)
A few other reasons why Jerry was so popular with the French:
His films are more visually oriented than dialogue driven, which tends to eliminate translation and comic timing problems. Imagine having to read “Who’s on First?” at the bottom of a screen.
A Jerry Lewis film is easily identifiable by its style, much more so than say a film by George Stevens or Fred Zinneman. Remember the auteur theory.
This was before Mel Brooks and Woody Allen. There just weren’t a lot of cinematic comics in the 50’s and 60’s.
Taste is in the tongue of the beholder, so to speak. Especially when it comes to humor. We (meaning Americans) may have a hard time trying to explain our devotion to Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler one day.
[Note: This message has been edited by JillGat]