Las Vegas Sun

February 18, 2018

Currently: 50° — Complete forecast

American Idol’ makes a move to add Jerry Lewis as a judge for Season 12


Mona Shield Payne/Special to the Sun

Jerry Lewis celebrates a new tally during the final hour of the 45th Annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon at the South Point in 2010.

2010 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon

The 2010 Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon at South Point. Ace Young, Nigel Lythgoe and David Archuleta are pictured here. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Nigel Lythgoe at Nevada Ballet Theatre's 27th Annual Black & White Ball honoring Priscilla Presley as Woman of the Year at Aria on Jan. 29, 2011.

In what could be one of the more delicious pairings in the history of television, producers of “American Idol” have contacted Jerry Lewis about the possibility of joining the judging panel for the show’s 12th season.

Lewis spokeswoman Candi Cazau reports that a package describing the requirements for judging the show has been sent to Lewis’ office in Las Vegas. Lewis and his assistant, Jeff Lowe (who has stepped in as Lewis’ former assistant, David Jackson, left the entertainment legend at the end of June), are in Nashville prepping for the July 24 premiere of “The Nutty Professor” musical at James K. Polk Theater at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The “Idol” materials have thus been shipped to Tennessee.

“Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe has said that he is interested in bringing Lewis and Charlie Sheen to the panel for Season 12. There seems to be room for either or both high-profile celebs. Steven Tyler has announced that he is leaving the show to spend more time with his first love, which happens to be Aerosmith. Jennifer Lopez also has hinted that she is likely to bolt from the show.

The relationship between Lewis and Lythgoe is a coincidental curiosity. Lythgoe stepped in to help host the 2011 MDA Labor Day Telethon after the messy fracture between the charity organization and the 86-year-old Lewis, who had served on the MDA board and as host for six decades. Cazau also said that the interest is so fresh that it isn’t certain Lewis is aware if the overture is for a full season (he’d likely be more amenable to a shorter commitment, like a couple of shows).

But if it does come to pass, the idea of the aggressively opinionated Lewis sitting on a panel judging a host of amateur singers is wildly fascinating. This is a man who once told Martin Short that he found every female comic in history (including Lucille Ball) unfunny. His response to “Idol’s” efforts can’t come soon enough.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy