Why is Jerry Lewis so popular in France?
As for why he initially gained popularity with the French, we can only speculate. U.S. critic Gerard Mast wrote that Lewis' brash, overzealous act was a spot-on take of American excess, and therefore appealed to the Gallic sense of humor. In her book "Why the French love Jerry Lewis," Rae Beth Gordon says Lewis' physical humor was much like a French comedy style that began in the 1880s and flourished in stage and film. And Lewis biographer Shawn Levy postulates that while the French love high art, they're also suckers for low-brow humor.
Whatever the reasons, it's safe to assume what people find entertaining changes by era, location, and generation. While Jack Benny was a riot in his time, he doesn't have quite the same audience today, and "Seinfeld" was a hit in the States but tanked in Germany. But after all, the french still love Benny Hill too:)
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