The Hollywood Reporter is doing a project on nonagenarians, or people in their 90s, who are still active in the entertainment industry. “Nine of the interviews went great,” said Andy Lewis, the interviewer. “One was a trainwreck.”


He was referring to the exceptionally awkward interview with 90-year-old actor, comedian and singer Jerry Lewis. “Have you ever thought about retiring?” the interviewer asked. “Why?” was Lewis’ response. The interview carried on this way for a good seven minutes of painfully awkward one or two word answers from a Lewis whose patience was clearly wearing very thin.

“You come from a, you come from a generation a little older,” sputtered the interviewer. “And I think of Bob Hope, George Burns, Sinatra…people you knew… many of whom didn’t wanna… uh or never retired either, um, do you see similarities with them?”


“What do you think drives people like you and them to want to keep working?”

Lewis actually seemed to consider this question before replying, “Because we do it well.”

Apparently the interview was doomed before it even began, as Lewis was not happy by the amount of equipment in the room and the way the shots were being set up. Participants came to the conclusion that Lewis decided to “punish THR by doing the interview but being as uncooperative as possible.”

At one point, Lewis even mocked Lewis for laughing at one of his jokes.

“As awkward and funny – and it’s pretty funny – as the interview is, it weirdly proves the point of the entire package,” concluded Lewis. “90-year-old Jerry Lewis is vital and completely engaged. He’s just engaged – almost happy – in being difficult.”

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