It Could Have Been Worse...

There he goes again:

Jerry Lewis makes another anti-gay slur

CANBERRA, Australia - Jerry Lewis made an anti-gay slur on Australian television similar to one he apologized for using on his annual telethon a year ago.

Following a news conference in Sydney Friday, Lewis, 82, was asked by a Network Ten national TV reporter for his opinion on the Australian nation sport of cricket.

"Oh, cricket? It's a f-- game. What are you, nuts?" Lewis replied.

The network broadcast the comment in full on its Friday evening news bulletin along with footage of Lewis handling an imaginary cricket bat with an effeminate gesture.


Lewis was still in Australia on Saturday and has performances booked there through Nov. 1. His Australian spokeswoman Julie Cavanagh said he did not intend to comment.

The comedian held Friday's news conference to promote his latest stage show that is touring Australia. It is a retrospective of his career that includes show tunes with a 24-piece band, excerpts from his scores of movies and television shows, and his trademark slapstick comedy.

I think the story misses the real point: Lewis didn't just insult gays, he insulted the entire country of Australia. About the only thing he didn't do was tell them that Vegemite sucks and accuse them of being a bunch of sheep-rapers. (Punchline: "The sheep's a liar!")

So, let's see what he managed to do here: He offended the "show tunes" crowd (Not That There's Anything Wrong With That) that would be many of the the paying customers coming to see his stage show (Show Biz Rule #1: Don't offend your paying customers! You can't afford to lose any of them!). And he offended Australia's national sport (probably a different subset of the Australian population, although I'm sure that some of the "show tunes" people are also cricket fans). And of course, it's not just their national sport, but that of the UK and India as well. So in one fell swoop, he managed to offend about a billion people. Nice work, Jerry.

As noted in the subject title, it could have been worse: He could have offended soccer fans (who are well known for their hooliganism), which would have included everyone in the world outside of the U.S. and Canada. Then again, soccer fans don't carry wooden bats...