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General News

NEWSMAKERS: Jerry Lewis, 'Ladies' Man'

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

He who laughs last ... is a she, it seems.

After shocking the audience at last week's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival by saying he didn't like female comedians (and didn't love Lucy!), Jerry Lewis has done the remedial tail-tuck between the legs and issued a statement offering his "humble apology" for his comments at the Aspen, Colorado, event.

Jerry Lewis "There are times when half-statements get misinterpreted, and that's what happened at the Aspen U.S. Comedy Festival [sic] last week," Lewis said in a statement Thursday.

As proof he's every bit "The Ladies' Man" he played in the 1961 comedy of the same name, Lewis named Whoopi Goldberg, Elayne Boosler and Phyllis Diller as female comics he does like.

The brouhaha started last Saturday when Lewis, who was being interviewed on stage at the festival by Martin Short, was asked by an audience member who his favorite female comedians were. The French-certified genius said he had none. Short then asked the 73-year-old comedian about Lucille Ball, saying, "You must have loved her."

"No," came the reply. He later added that women were best deployed as baby-making machines.

While apparently feeling the need to save face a little, Lewis did not entirely back down on his stance on Thursday.

"When women, doing comedy, do routines written for them by drill sergeants, I take objection," Lewis' statement said. "Their filth makes me and many ashamed to be in our business, and to me women doing anything, especially comedy, are looked up on by me as one of God's great miracles ... they can make a baby."

(Sigh.) Looks like Lewis' foot has returned to its proper place -- inside his mouth.

OVER THE 'MOON': So, how come Jim Carrey's taking the Biggest Shaft award at this year's Oscars? His "Man on the Moon" director has a theory.v "He's so good, you don't see acting," Milos Forman said at a news conference today at the Berlin International Film Festival. "You see Andy Kaufman. You don't see the sweat of acting, which not everyone appreciates."

But Forman, a two-time Oscar winner who turns 68 today, says he was "shocked" at the snub, noting that comedy always has a tough time with the Academy, and that he's never worked with an actor "who gives so much of his heart and soul and mind to his work."

QUICK TAKES: So Jim Carrey won't be getting an Oscar, but how many nominees can say their name is now tattooed on Renée Zellweger's behind? The actress -- Carrey's gal pal -- displays the emblazoned "Jimmy Gene," reportedly her nickname for him, in March's Cosmopolitan. ...

... "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Vincent Young confirms to TV Guide Online that he and Tori Spelling recently have started seeing each other off-screen. The actor complains the tabloids were running with stories of their coupledom before they were even a couple. "They'll use pictures sometimes that are obvious stills from the show but they'll [pass] it off like it's just us hanging out at night. And it's like, we don't look that good at night! This is, you know, after makeup and hair." ...

... Actress Charlize Theron has been added to the roster of presenters for the 72nd Annual Academy Awards, March 26 at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. ...

... Oscar host Billy Crystal lassoed a student dressed as a cow and hog-tied him as part of a "City Slickers" homage at the banquet feting his Hasty Pudding Man of the Year honor, Thursday at Harvard University. Crystal, 51, also was presented with a live baby pig and asked to address it as one of his trademark "Saturday Night Live" characters, Fernando. He abided with a little, ``Dahhhling, you look mahhhvelous!'' ...

WEEKLY RUMOR ROUNDUP: If you're having trouble distinguishing your teenybopper pop princesses, Britney Spears is the one who didn't get a boob job (so let it go); Jessica Simpson's the one saving her chastity for her wedding night, and Christina Aguilera's the one who wound up at an Atlanta strip club after the Super Bowl.

No, Aguilera wasn't performing. In fact, she didn't even know the place -- name of Cheetah -- was a strip club before she went there, says her rep at RCA Records. According to the New York Daily News, Aguilera was invited to the well-known Atlanta "gentlemen's club" by MTV veejay Carson Daly.

Aguilera, 19, thought she was going to a party to meet Daly, according to the label rep, and was there only half an hour and didn't drink any alcohol. Daly, 26, says he was alcohol-free as well. One of Cheetah's dancers performed for them, but she danced "in front of [Christina]," her rep says, and did not go do a lap dance as reported by the Daily News ...

... Are they dating, are they not? We're never sure, but the Daily News reports that bongo-playing Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock arrived together to see Sally Kirkland's play "The Powder Room Suite" in Los Angeles and were "quite cozy" afterward. They were first linked in 1996 when they co-starred in "A Time to Kill," and reportedly dated two years, but always under the auspices of being "best friends." Bullock's rep, Brigid Walsh, says, "They're friends, and they socialize, but they don't date." So that's where it's at, until the next questionable appearance, at least.

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