Have you seen this interview yet? It's being praised as 8 minutes of comedy genius from a true legend and a master of the cinematic arts. Others are just calling Jerry Lewis a mean old jerk. However you want to view it, or whatever you want to take away from its intense awkwardness, this really is one of the few notes we could have ended 2016 on. Some call it the worst year in decades. And this wraps everything up perfectly with a nice little bow on top.
If you're hoping to learn anything new about Jerry Lewis in this painful interview, you might want to look elsewhere. His answers to the questions posed are mostly one word, and it's often just, 'Why?' He's not unaware of his surroundings. He's not drifting like Mickey Rooney in some of that acting icon's later-in-life interviews, where Rooney proves to be a mean old cuss partly because he's having trouble remembering his past. Here, Lewis, who has a reputation for being prickly, is clearly cognizant of his surroundings and knows full well what he's doing. You can see the intense irritation in his eyes. That's one of the reasons this has become such an internet sensation.
This uncomfortable sit-down style interview filmed in the man's private home was done by The Hollywood Reporter as part of their 'Creative Until You Die' series that looks at artists working well into their 90s and beyond. Some immediately labeled it a trainwreck. But other comedians, such as Jerry Seinfeld started to chip in. The clip took on a life of its own soon afterward. Seinfeld says this.
"Love this and Jerry L. so much. The essence of every comedian on display. Wish this was mine."
THR editor Andy Lewis, who is known for dealing with somewhat uncooperative celebrities on occasion, does his best to keep afloat and keep the party moving, but alas, to no avail. As of yesterday, it became The Hollywood Reporter's most viewed video in history with more than 1.2 million people coming in for a peek. Marc Maron responded, saying he no longer felt so bad about his train wreck of an interview with Jerry Lewis, which has driven some traffic in that direction to hear more of Lewis' sage like one worded wisdom on the WTF Podcast. Even Sarah Palin had to chime in, saying 'sums up how I feel when I sit down for an interview.'
There has been quite a lot of interest in this Interview, which caps a year that has been rife with high profile celebrity deaths, too many tragic incidents to count, and a Donald Trump election that has left a nation literally torn. About the experience of living through this firsthand, Andy Lewis says about being the interviewer.
"I knew the video would get attention. I never knew it would get this much attention. I'm glad people find it as entertaining as I do, even if some of the laughs are at my expense."
We've embedded the interview for you to watch here. Along with some of the famous tweets that followed. And sure enough, there at the end, you'll find good old dependable Josh Gad, the snowman from Frozen, who has not missed a celebrity tweet retrospective all year round. Let's hope this video puts 2016 to bed the right way, a year that saw Jerry Lewis return in two movies including Max Rose and The Trust, and allows for a fresh new path for 2017.
Breaking: Jerry Lewis still unbearable https://t.co/7u3sJICQTp— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) December 19, 2016
Sums up how I feel when I sit down for an interview. I'm jealous of Jerry! https://t.co/ej8UgGefck— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) December 21, 2016
I've watched this twice and winding up for number three. Best ever. https://t.co/hKCRUUb6vP— Howard Stern (@HowardStern) December 21, 2016
Calling this Jerry Lewis interview a "trainwreck" is polite https://t.co/NYBE0SdphI this is very sly and funny! Seriously!— Richard Belzer (@MRbelzer) December 20, 2016
Current mood. https://t.co/lrAZC6zZoS— Danny Zuker (@DannyZuker) December 19, 2016
This is the funniest thing I've seen this year. https://t.co/kdMY270NWp— Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) December 19, 2016