Dick Cavett Doesn't Think Jerry Lewis' Awkward THR Interview Was an Act
"I think Mr. Lewis may have suddenly thought, 'Oh, my God! I've gone and let myself in for the 1 millionth interview of my life!'"
Iconic talk-show host Dick Cavett doesn't think Jerry Lewis was putting on an act when he was cantankerous during a recent, now viral interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Cavett has known the actor and comic for decades, even working for Lewis as a writer on his ABC show during the early '60s. He also interviewed Lewis on The Dick Cavett Show.
Could Lewis have been doing a bit when he talked to THR? Some stars, including Jerry Seinfeld, think so. Cavett, not so much.
"I can see what they mean, but I don't see that," he told THR on Thursday. "I think Mr. Lewis may have — after enduring the tedious crew setup — suddenly thought, 'Oh, my God! I've gone and let myself in for the 1 millionth interview of my life!'"
He continued, "Also, the much criticized brevity of Jerry's replies has a prestigious precedent. Let's recall when, in that documentary, Peter Bogdanovich asked the great John Ford how he shot a certain spectacular cavalry charge. Ford: 'With a camera.'"
Cavett first met Lewis when he guest-hosted The Tonight Show between the stints of Jack Paar and Johnny Carson.
"We always got along well," Cavett said. "I just saw him on a TCM [Classic] Cruise a few weeks back. He boarded just hours before I had to leave. We chatted and had a good time. I told him Woody Allen sent me an email saying if the ship capsized, grab onto Jerry. He's a survivor. He really loved that."