Oh, For Crying Out Glavin

In my home, the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon is a must-see. (Well, for me, anyway. The husband isn't interested.) Of course, the trick nowadays is to tune in when Jerry is actually on camera. He's not present during the entire telethon anymore, but it's always entertaining to see Jerry rambling about something or other, or who knows, you might actually witness the coveted "LAAAAAADY!"

And of course, sometimes you see something really jaw-dropping. Jerry didn't disappoint yesterday. (Well, he disappointed, to say the least, but not in the way I mean.)

A woozy Jerry Lewis went Isaiah Washington last night on the MDA telethon, when we called someone, or something, an "illiterate faggot," reports our friends at TMZ.

During one of Jerry's usual rants, while in the 18th hour of the MDA Labor Day telethon, Jerry swayed, trying to dodge the cameraman, then introduced a "family member" as "the illiterate faggot". Then just as it came out of his mouth, he seemed to remember that he was on live TV, stopped himself and tried on move on.
Not that I'm in any way condoning what Jerry did at that moment, but I do think he was trying to make a joke. A really bad, offensive joke, but it almost looked like at that moment Jerry remembered where he was, but not when he was. I'm sure in 1955 at the Sands, that would have killed 'em. 2007 at the MDA telethon? Not so much.

Again, I'm not trying to say that what he did was OK. It certainly was offensive and some sort of apology is in order. But honestly, I can't figure out for the life of me what was going through his head. How is this "joke" even funny?

Jerry has battled many health problems in the past, so it wouldn't surprise me if these issues weren't used as some sort of excuse by his defenders after this "joke." But let's just say that Jerry isn't exactly known for his progressive viewpoints.

Yes, the telethon does amazing things. But this kind of bigoted "humor" is simply unacceptable. I would hope an apology will be issued. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath. After all, he didn't do something really horrific, like expose a nipple or anything.

Actually, having said that, we should probably be grateful for small favors. At least he didn't break out the buck teeth and "Me so solly" schtick.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus