Jerry Lewis. By now, millions have heard and even seen his interview, which almost everyone describes as "painful." The Hollywood Reporter sent in this dude to interview Lewis, and from what I read, the prima donna from the Stone Age didn't like all the people in his house, setting up stuff. Anyway, Lewis gave mostly one word answers, but even worse, you could just SEE the hatred in his eyes with every question. The interview was part of THR's coverage of entertainers in their 90's, who were still performing. Jerry Lewis made a total ASS of himself, but what interested me the most, is how many people DEFENDED him. Ohhhh, the interviewer asked stupid questions. He was sooooo lame. This was especially true of the tweets from Hollywood types. I guess if you're a celebrity, you get to diss on interviewers. Ohhhh, but Vegas, they get asked the same stupid questions! Well, so what? Look, so long as the interviewer isn't trying to make the subject look like a jerk, and asking "Gotcha!" questions, who cares? Besides, the questions asked of Lewis, while not exactly brilliant -- the guy's from The Hollywood Reporter, not some intellectual think tank (thank God!) -- were no better or worse than questions asked of kajillions of celebrities over the years. Lewis could have expanded on his answers. He first performed in Vegas in 1947, but refused to say there was any difference in the city in the almost seventy years since. He would share no interesting story about any of the many stars he'd known over the years. When the interviewer asked him why he's still performing, the response was "Because I'm good at it." Hey, I'd like to know what drives someone to keep going, at an age when most are happy to just kick back. Jerry Lewis had quite a career. He was the funny guy in one of the best comedy teams of all time. Martin and Lewis starred in many movies together. Lewis, on his own, wrote, directed, and starred in dozens of films. He played Vegas. He once was a fill-in host for Johnny Carson, and even had his own TV talk show. His work with Muscular Dystrophy is legendary. I'm not a huge fan of his, or even a huge detractor (he does have talent), but his experiences in show biz HAVE to be fascinating, but instead of sharing them with an audience who would love to hear about them, he chose to be a jerk. Look, Jerry (I know you're reading this!), if you didn't want to do the interview, you should've cancelled, instead of making some young man who was obviously doing the best he can, sweat.
I get that many show biz types are a bit temperamental. But you know what? There's also something called professionalism. That means soldiering through interviews, promotions, book tours, etc. These Hollywood types (and even Sarah Palin!) who got a kick out of how Lewis handled the interview, seem to forget that the many interviews, lame or otherwise, that THEY gave, helped them sell DVDs, movie tickets, and books. The average person would LOVE to answer a dozen questions, in exchange for millions of dollars. So if Jerry Lewis wants to be a diva, okay. He is ninety, which is roughly thirteen in dog years, so maybe he should be cut some slack. But the problem is, he has had this reputation for years. Believe me, living in Las Vegas you "hear things." Word gets out, and if you hear it over and over again, especially from people who had direct contact with the "stahhhs" you get the idea. Lewis is one major diva, and that's a shame.
Actually, at the risk of going long (surprise!), let me just give you some examples of things I've heard about Vegas performers and famous people, including those from my limousine driver friend, who KNOWS many.
Bill Cosby. Long before his scandal, I've heard a thousand stories of what a jerk he was, and still is.
Sylvester Stallone. My limo driver friend can't say enough bad things about him. For example, once he left a camera in the back seat of the limo, and when she returned it to him personally, not only did she not get a tip, she didn't even get a THANK YOU!
Don Rickles. My limo friend LOVES him! Down to earth, and extremely friendly. She also mentioned that she liked Regis Philbin, but Rickles was the BEST!
Dr. J. Remember him, the great basketball player of the 1980's? His reputation is PERFECT. Polite, a gentleman, and not full of himself.
Michael Jordan. He loved to gamble, but he didn't love to TIP. I understand that's his right, but in Las Vegas, that will not exactly endear you to the dealers.
Charles Barkley. The opposite of Jordan, Sir Charles is a "George" -- a great tipper -- and from what I've read, a fun person to be around.
Jennifer Lopez. According to a friend of mine who has waited on her, she's a total diva. I've heard similar descriptions from others.
Barbra Streisand. You KNOW where this is going, doncha? According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, she once gave instructions to the MGM employees, not to make eye contact with her.
Rodney Dangerfield. The late Rodney Dangerfield, sadly. I never heard a bad word about him. I once sent him some jokes, and he sent them back (rejected) with a nice note, which he didn't have to do. I have heard he liked to party, but never heard anything about him being mean to anyone. He will always be a hero of mine.
Mariah Carey. My "source" says she's a real diva. Won't make eye contact, etc.
Wayne Newton. At one time, Newton's career was on the rocks. He was this pudgy young guy with a high voice, who was not exactly a singing idol. But when he took off some weight, and used the deeper end of the musical scale, he became THE biggest act in Vegas, with the exception of Elvis. "The Midnight Idol" Newton was called. On stage he was a dynamo. Not only did he sing with soul and enthusiasm, he could play numerous instruments, even though he never had a lesson -- all by ear. As a person, he was wonderful. I know at least one guy who worked for him, who would verify this. Also, Newton would do performances for casino employees. He would perform two shows a night, and stay WAY late, doing encores. Casino bigwigs would get upset because they wanted his audience gambling. He didn't just work in Vegas, he appreciated the town, and the town appreciated him. Ohhhh, and on a personal note, I saw his show back in the early 70's, and this lady wanted a kiss. Newton obliged, leaned over, but she grabbed his scarf, and he lost his balance. I and the guy on the other side of the table, broke his fall. My claim to fame, haha.
Jay Leno. My source at Caesars said he was the nicest man in the world. I've heard that for years. I doubt this surprises anyone.
Britney Spears. My limo friend doesn't think much of her. Spears lets her dogs run wild in the back seat. A story in the Las Vegas Review Journal describes her eating at a mall restaurant, and when Spears' dessert wasn't on the menu, the waitress, on her OWN, went next door, paid for it out of her own pocket, and brought it back. Spears not only didn't reimburse her, but didn't leave a TIP! On the OTHER hand, another person I know claimed that she was a DELIGHT to serve. Good days and bad days, I guess.
Ringo Starr. This comes from my late friend at the Sahara, whose word I trust COMPLETELY. George was basically running the hotel part of the Sahara Hotel and Casino. Believe it or not, the Beatles played there back in the day. So George is escorting these guys around, when a large group of teenage girls (who were probably looking for the Fab Four) spotted them. Afraid of getting mobbed, they ran for an elevator. Now George was an ex-marine, so he wasn't going to be intimidated by anyone, let alone a group that wasn't his cup of Liverpool tea, anyway. So in the midst of the mayhem, he grabs Ringo, to get him into the elevator. Ringo says, "Don't F -----g touch me!" George says, "Fine, then die, mother f----r!" Richard Starkey, AKA, Ringo, got in the elevator. Hey, maybe Ringo was a great guy. I don't know. But you had to have heard George tell this story. You just don't intimidate an ex-marine.
Matt Damon. I'm pretty sure I dealt to him on the Strip in the 90's. He was talking about going to Hollywood with a friend of his, to either submit a script, or make a deal. He was VERY nice, and everyone enjoyed his company. His friend I'm almost a hundred percent sure, was Ben Affleck, who stopped by to talk to Damon. Damon wasn't a star then, but he had movie roles before, and could've played the role of a male diva, but he didn't. Nice man. Politically, though, he's still an idiot.
I could go on, but I've already gone too long. It's a shame that so many who achieve success, can be such painuses in the anuses, but many are good people, too. I've seen the same thing dealing poker. I've dealt to champions who are the biggest ball busters in the world, while others, even though tough competitors, do not get carried away with their celebrity. Phil Hellmuth can be a real jerk to other players, but he never takes his frustrations out on the dealers. Others have such bad reps that I can't even begin to tell you how obnoxious they are. There are gentlemen, and there are rogues. That's the way fame is, I guess. Mickey Mantle was an amazing player, but not exactly fan friendly. Stan Musial was one of the best ever, but never once was accused of being nasty to fans, or even umpires, from what I remember. Anyway, even though I got carried away on this topic, it's always a shame to see famous people who got rich off the public, decide that they are somehow above it all.
Jerry Lewis should be ashamed of himself.