Jerry Lewis Calls American Idol Contestants “McDonald’s Wipeouts”

Jerry Lewis has lambasted American Idol contestants according to a New Orleans Times-Picayune article.

 Jerry Lewis is currently promoting an Encore documentary on his life and while promoting the upcoming special, he has expressed his concern for the state of television today.

American Idol contestants got the worst of the criticism when he made this statement:

“It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And kids, they get on ‘American Idol.’ They’re all McDonald’s wipe-outs. They’ve all been dumped. They’ve worked there and now they’re doing that. And of course they all play a guitar, which takes the place of music. – Jerry Lewis

I don’t think his vitriolic statement was necessary, since the American Idol contestants work as hard, if not harder than any television star, back when Lewis was in television.

As for the guitar taking the place of music, that statement makes no sense, guitar music can be some of the best music heard today.

He has his right to his opinion, but has no right to belittle the American Idol contestants, who keep a grueling schedule during weeks of rehearsals, filming commercials and choosing the right song. Only two or three from any given year, reach the top of the music business.

One thing I agree with him is his objection to movies being seen on telephones. He mentions Lawrence of Arabia as a movie not meant to be shown on a phone with the following statement.

 “The motion picture industry now is no longer, as far as I’m concerned. And we can fix it. But it’s no longer, because they put all of their product on the phone. You’re going to put ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ on that stupid (device)? That gets me crazy, pal. That gets me crazy.” – Jerry Lewis

Having never owned a smart phone, I can only imagine, what watching a movie on a phone would be like. However, it seems like a movie like Star Wars would not even be close to what it would be, if seen on a wide-screen in a theater with the huge speakers.

The 85-year-0ld Lewis seems to have lost touch with the times. I don’t know how he could expect things to be the same, as they were when he was a television and movie star, in the 50’s and 60’s.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

4 thoughts on “Jerry Lewis Calls American Idol Contestants “McDonald’s Wipeouts””

  1. Holy cow, Andrew! Jerry Lewis is my idol! “They can all play guitar, which takes the place of music”–classic and so true, wow. This is my kind of cat–telling it like it is.

  2. I like Jerry Lewis too. I think Hardly Working was one of the funniest movies he ever made, but it is very hard to find.

    I have a lot of respect for a guitarist that also sings.

  3. I’m with Jerry. Love the old music, movies, type of comedy of the 30s-60s. Every now and then a good new movie comes out, but very rare. Guess that makes me an old fogey at age 51.

    1. I love the music from the 40’s and early 50’s, before Bill Haley and Elvis changed the musical landscape. Then the Beatles changed it again in 1964, with the British invasion and even singing groups like the Beach Boys adopted the scruffy look. The old movies seemed packed with more emotion than they have today.

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