Jim Carrey Reveals How Jerry Lewis Shaped His Comedy: "I Love the Idea of Rebellion Against Reality"
"I don't do exactly what he did, but his freedom and his disrespect for the norm is there in my work."
Jim Carrey wrote an obituary for Jerry Lewis for Time magazine, honoring the late comedian and recounting the influence Lewis had on his life.
"I've never been particularly grounded in the real world myself, and I love the idea of rebellion against reality," wrote Carrey. "Through his comedy, Jerry would stretch the boundaries of reality so far that it was an act of anarchy; he was completely free of this contrivance that we walk through life with, and I found that extremely liberating."
Carrey described Lewis as part of his "makeup," saying that while he doesn't do exactly the same kind of work as Lewis, his "freedom and his disrespect for the norm" exist in Carrey's own comedic career.
The actor recounted going to Lewis' 90th birthday celebration in New York last year. While at the party, Carrey gave an impromptu speech about Lewis and sat at a table with him and Robert De Niro. He said he and Lewis laughed about an old joke Lewis once made about Carrey.
"When asked about ways he was similar to me in an interview a while back, he said he definitely saw his influence on me — and in fact may have fucked my mother a couple of decades ago," said Carrey.
In conclusion, Carrey called Lewis a "blessing" and said that while some might dismiss Lewis as "someone who acted the fool," the "courage and the freedom of the fool liberates us."