Friday, September 08, 2006

Debunking the Jerry Lewis Myth about France.

I am not necessarily a big fan of SuperFrenchie - the blog that defends France's image in the U.S. - even if they have interesting posts. (I find the guy behind the scene, Denis Chazelle, a bit too obsessed and not with enough distance and humor for my taste. A bit of French bashing can be fun too). However, he recently made a good point: a lot of people in America think, for some strange reason that the French are mad about... Jerry Lewis.
Have you heard that before? It's very funny because, my experience was the same as Denis, "only after I came here did I find out that I was supposed to be a Jerry Lewis fan. I certainly had no idea before that, nor did I even suspect that most people in my country idolize him."
So just to clarify things for those of you who live in the US and do not know much about France - that's what you'd call an "urban myth" to day. The French do NOT care about Jerry Lewis. In fact, Jerry Lewis is never talked about, never seen and never heard of in France, and I suspect that none of my students have even heard the name. It is even likely that they think we're actually talking about Jerry Lee Lewis.
Still, I wonder where that myth came from for it is clearly an enduring one.


At 07:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're right. I don't even remember the last time one of his movies was broadcast on TV and I don't think I'm doing a mistake writing my boys, 18 and 16, don't know him.


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