ASPEN, Colo. (AP) -- Jerry Lewis stunned an audience gathered to honor his work by saying he doesn't like female comics and views a woman as ''a producing machine'' for children.
Lewis, 73, made the remarks Saturday during a question-and-answer session at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Fellow comedian Martin Short moderated the retrospective on Lewis' life, attended by about 1,000 people, including actor Steve Martin.
Lewis had spoken affectionately of actor Dean Martin and other legendary comics before a member of the audience asked him which female comics he admires.
''I don't like any female comedians,'' Lewis said.
Short reminded Lewis about Lucille Ball. ''You must have loved her,'' he said.
Lewis replied: ''No.''
''A woman doing comedy doesn't offend me, but sets me back a bit,'' Lewis said. ''I, as a viewer, have trouble with it. I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world.''
The session ended soon afterward, and many audience members left the room at the St. Regis Hotel, shaking their heads in disbelief.
A message left Sunday night for a Lewis spokesperson in Las Vegas was not immediately returned.
Lewis became a show business fixture appearing in nightclubs and films with partner Martin. The entertainers parted ways in 1956, and Lewis went on to direct movies including ''The Bellboy'' and ''Geisha Boy.'' He has appeared in more than 50 films.
Later generations have come to know Lewis more for his annual hosting of the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon.
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