Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Jerry Lewis Drops F-Bomb During Telethon

9/4/2007 1:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Click to return to TMZ.comA woozy Jerry Lewis, 81, went all Isaiah Washington on his telethon last night, calling someone -- or something -- an "illiterate fag."

In the midst of a typically Lewis-ian rant in the 18th hour of his Labor Day telethon, France's favorite comedian swayed, trying to dodge the cameraman, then introduced a "family member" as "the illiterate fag," then remembered, seemingly, that he was on live TV ... stopped himself and tried to move on.

The MDA telethon raised a record $63 million for muscular dystrophy over the three-day weekend.

After scolding us for calling so early (it's not like he dropped an offensive slur or anything!), a rep for Lewis had no comment on the incident.

UPDATE: Neil Giuliano, President of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), has just issued the following statement to TMZ: "Jerry Lewis' on-air use of this kind of anti-gay slur is simply unacceptable. It also feeds a climate of hatred and intolerance that contributes to putting our community in harm's way. Our nation's media have done an admirable job this year holding public figures accountable for their use of anti-gay slurs, and I hope they continue to do so with Mr. Lewis."

Giuliano told TMZ that GLAAD is reaching out to Lewis' representatives today to request a meeting with him. "We want to sit down with him," Giuliano tells us, "help him understand why these words are so hurtful, and give him an opportunity to raise public awareness about the destructive impact of these kinds of anti-gay slurs, even more so in attempted humor."


No Avatar


I understand why this would make some ppl upset, but COME ON! He's helped the MDA raise millions of dollars over the past decades!!! That's a lot of time, dedication, and stamina, and we're all going crazy over just one slip-up? Come on... If you can't just let it go, let's see you stay up all night raising money to help a noble cause.

2569 days ago


people should leave him alone!!! he was up for 24 hours straight on national tv for a good cause. he doesn't even get paid! he could have been a little out of it from being awake so long at 82 YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!

2569 days ago


Did anyone notice that the term "white trash" is used to describe Britney's "antics" on the "hateables" pic flip through section. Why is this term considered OK by the mainstream media, yet the minute someone accidently let's an "unacceptable slur" out they are chastized beyond belief and everyone starts speaking from their righteous pedestal.

2569 days ago


ohhhhhhhh please...get a life, he didn't mean anything by it......can anyone else raise as much money for these kids as he does.....if you are really secure in your lifestyle then what other people say doesn;t really matter

2569 days ago


He was funny when I was a kid. But, as he got old, I saw his true colors. He is rude, obnoxious, and high and mighty. I don't watch the telethone anymore, because each year, he gets worst and worst. I'm not surprise that he made that comment. I just say, well, look who said it. Mr. High and Mighty himself. Anyone who puts down the amount of a donation on national T.V. in front of the person who's donating is just plain rude. Donation is as it is, a donation. Take it and leave your mouth shut.

2569 days ago


Dear Russell,

I am sure you realize that ANY charitable organization has salaried employees?? Mr. Lewis helped found MDA. MDA has one of the best reputations for the amount of each dollar that goes directly to research and services versus admin, etc costs. Think before you speak. Google before you comment.

" I used to do Volunteer work for the Telethon yrs. ago. I was under the impression Lewis did it voluntarily, little did I know. He gets paid for what he does. Piece of trash and has no sympathy for those kid's. Just wants the spot light. Won't miss him when he croaks and it couldn't be to soon."

Posted at 7:46PM on Sep 4th 2007 by Russ Beckworth

2569 days ago


He's been an emotionally ill, has-been, movie actor for over forty years now! He really does believe he's a stand up comedian too! What a wack! I wonder how much his salary skims off the total dollars of the donations people send in. He can't act, direct, write or produce anything entertaining anymore; he hasn't any talent or moral standards either. He's an example of another snake oil salesman disguised as an "entertainer icon"; He's always walked this talk too! J. Lewis is a waste of Skin!

2569 days ago


C'mon people, you gotta understand, this man was tired and also under the weather himself. Do you think straight when you're tired and feeling woozy? Sure he cusses alot, but it's nothing that you don't hear on average station shows. He apologized, let it be. If you keep dragging it out and relenting over have issues!!

2569 days ago


he is just proud of every donation!!!!!!

2569 days ago


PLEASE - give the man a break. He is 81 years old and was into the 18th hour of a telethon. If it were not for Jerry Lewis, MDA would not have the millions of dollars it has to try and erradicate this horrible disease. He has worked tirelessly for MDA and I am sure fatigue had something to do with it. I just wish people would not take offense at every little thing people say. FREEDOM OF SPEECH people. That is what our country is about - like it or not.

2569 days ago

CSI fan    

Everyone needs to take a chill pill. You cannot make another human being act the way you want them to. Every person alive will look at you and see you in a different light no matter how ugly, fat, beutiful, gay, colored(every color), deformed, depressed...etc....So, all we can do is love one another and see the best in everyone and overlook their downfalls. Pray to God that intentional malicious behavior will be overcome.

2569 days ago


Who cares what he said on live TV or anywhere else for the matter! The man has given his life to helping others, especially MDA, so he has nothing to apologize for. MDA would be just another three letter acronym for something nobody cared about, without his work and his name attached to it. I have an idea, why doesn't MDA give back all that money he made them this weekend, to distant themselves from his off color comments. "Yeah right!" If the man wants to take a dump at center stage on national TV during the telethon, MDA and all the TV exec's should be in the front row handing him the Toilet paper and cheering him on!!!

2569 days ago


Jerry grew up in a day when these words were just words, we have taken it to far and have let it consume our lives!!!!

2569 days ago


I don't care if he is tired. He hasn't been funny for the past thirty years. And each year he gets worst. I also heard while he was raising his six kid's he was a tyrant. I'm sorry, but I think the telethone would do better to get rid of him. He's a cranky old man.

2569 days ago

R.Dee Payne    

Can you self-rightous people look beyond your own little self interest. I am NOT A LEWIS FAN, but I respect the fact that this man has raised more money for someone other than himself than anyone I can think. How much time have you contributed or how much money have you given? Then shut flap!!! How much has Mr. Washington contribute to society? Mr. Lewis has earned the right to be treated differently. He has actually HELPED this entire society. And after 18 hours on the job.....please.

Truth Teller is right; homosexuals are the least tolerant and the first to be victimized. We still can't find a biological foot print for homosexuality which means these people have simply made a lifestyle choice.

2569 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web