France hails Jerry

Lewis gets nation's highest honour

Jerry Lewis has been given France's most prestigious award, the Legion of Honour.

The comic, who turned 80 today, tuned up for the usually formal ceremony in his slippers, and spent the entire event goofing around for the cameras.

As Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres gave a 20-minute speech in his honour, Lewis yawned, checked his watch, and pretended to fall asleep – to the delight of the gathered audience.

When it came to his turn at the microphone, Lewis apologised for not speaking French, but said: ‘Even if the French people cannot hear my language, they have always heard my heart.’

Lewis praised the sense of a humour of the nation that has always been the biggest fans of his work, saying: ‘The French are not afraid to laugh.’

And he said he was ‘gloriously elevated’ to become the 37th foreigner to receive the award in the past three years. ‘The French people are the best in the world,’ he added.

Lewis was also given a huge cake to mark his birthday.


Published: 16 Mar 2006

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.