Jerry Lewis, who recently appeared in the news for an extremely awkward seven-minute interview with the Hollywood Reporter in which he gives short one-word answers and antagonizes his younger interviewer, gave a more engaging talk to WTF Podcast host Marc Maron in September of this year.
Maron sat on the interview until recently because, while entertaining and informative, the interview ends abruptly when Lewis decides he’s tired of answering questions.
Maron managed to get more out of Lewis than THR, though, and one juicy part came at the end when Jerry discussed Bing Crosby.
“Bing Crosby was an independent son of a b***h,” Lewis says with a tinge of disgust in his voice.” When Maron asked if that meant Bing was “not a nice guy,” Lewis responded, “I didn’t say that. I can only say that I did not enjoy his company.”
Lewis speculated Crosby didn’t like him because “he thought I would take his toop (toupee) off.”
“We went and did a telethon for needy children. I walk on stage and Bing, he walked the other way. Never did talk to him again,” Lewis said, adding that “he did it out of fear.”
“He feared that I would do something nuts to him. He had five sons, who thought he was a schmuck, too,” Lewis said.
I take what Jerry Lewis as the ramblings of a frail and bitter entertainer. Mickey Rooney was the same way. Rooney even at one point said "Bing never even entertained the troops". As for Lewis, Bing did not have five children, and even after the supposed telethon mishap, Bing did talk to Jerry. Jerry obviously has a selective memory as he has forgotten the times he subsequently golfed with Bing, had dinner with him in London and was invited to play in the Crosby Pro-Am. Bing and Dean Martin also gatecrashed the Eddie Fisher show on which Jerry was guesting in 1958. In my opinion, Bing did not run in the same crowd as Jerry. Lewis, who stopped being even remotely funny after Dean Martin dumped him sixty years ago. Lewis is one of the most notorious miserable people in Hollywood to this day.
It's sad when an aging star has to resort to spreading gossip about a fellow star who has been dead nearly 40 years. What is next - Jerry Lewis to say that Al Jolson beat him? Even though Bing died too young in 1977 at the age of 74, we did not see Bing because truly elderly. We have the misfortune now of seeing Jerry Lewis now as a faded star and an obviously miserable and angry man...