Levy conjectures that French audiences took to Lewis in part because he exemplified the French notion of the auteur--the individual, typically the director, who imposes his artistic vision on the production, which Lewis definitely did. But it's probably equally true that the French, despite or maybe because of their devotion to art (you know, pushing the envelope and all that), were also suckers for low comedy. One recalls the legendary French stage performer Le Petomane, aka the Fartiste. Not that Jerrymania was strictly a French thing. Lewis was voted director of the year three times in France, but he won the same honor in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands.