Sort of . Actually, Lewis was holding forth at a Beverly Hills tour stop for TV critics. He was promoting his upcoming documentary when he unexpectedly veered off the road and sideswiped reality television shows, especially “American Idol” and “The Biggest Loser.”
“The kids who’re on American Idol, they’re all McDonalds wipe outs. They all worked there and now they’re doing [reality TV].”
Lewis then turned his attention to weight loss shows like The Biggest Loser, noting networks are showing “the fat lady” dropping weight from more than 300 pounds to 240 pounds. “Who gives a s—?” “Who gives a s—?”
He then shifted into the “back in my day” mode as he recalled people rushing home to watch Milton Berle. “Nobody wants to run home and see anything, they run home and hope they see something.”
With the press evidently stoking his fire, Lewis also gave his opinion on the new availability of TV and film on portable, hand-held devices. “They put all of their product on the stupid phone,” he said. “You’re gonna put Lawrence of Arabia on that stupid son of a bitch?”
An Encore documentary, “The Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis” is soon to be released, and while Lewis was eager to plug it, he bluntly refused to answer any questions about the end of his involvement with the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. “It’s none of your business,” he said.