Skip to comments.Mystery surrounds Jerry Lewis’ absence from Sunday’s Muscular Dystrophy Telethon
Posted on 09/03/2011 2:24:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Few TV traditions in America are as popular as the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon, but this years is still shrouded in mystery as to what happened between entertainment legend and longtime host Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Not one mention of his name in the two latest MDA press releases about the telethon. Thats not only downright rude and disgraceful, but also a tragedy.
This years show, broadcast live again from South Point on Sunday, has been cut to 6 hours from the long-standing 21-hour marathon. MDA says the new look will be more fast-paced and hopefully double donations that hit nearly $60 million last year in a flagging economy.
MDA also says the compressed show is attracting new superstar entertainers: Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Martina McBride, Steven Tyler, Jon Secada, Randy Jackson and Richie Sambora are scheduled to make appearances during the telethon. Nigel Lythgoe, Nancy ODell, Jann Carl and Alison Sweeney are this years hosts.
It wont be the same without Jerry at the helm. His dedication and devotion to MDA and Jerrys Kids have raised more than $2 billion, making him the solo star with the biggest gift to charity. Jerrys legacy will last forever even in his absence.
Broadcast over Labor Day weekend in 1966 by just one TV station in New York City, the first event raised more than $1 million in pledges. This Sunday, more than 40 years later, the show will be broadcast by more than 150 MDA Love Network stations and assisted by approximately 250,000 volunteers across the country. Nearly 40 million people are expected to watch.
In 1998, it made history as the first telethon seen around the world via Internet simulcast. Its momentum came from Jerry revealing the ever-increasing fundraising total
(Excerpt) Read more at lasvegassun.com ...
Without Jerry Lewis, MDA telethon promises to be bland affair
BY FRAZIER MOORE September 2, 2011
No one would sniff at all the dollars Jerry Lewis has raised to fight muscular dystrophy: a couple of billion during his 45-year reign as host of the MDA Telethon.
But what kind of TV did he offer in exchange? The short answer: Jerry put on a show like no other.
Labor Day weekend this year promises to be bland by comparison, with the 85-year-old Lewis now banished from the annual rite he built from scratch and molded in his image.
As if deflated by the absence of its larger-than-life host, The 46th Annual MDA Labor Day Telethon will fill just six hours (6 p.m. Sunday to midnight), rather than the grueling 21½-hour endurance contest that Lewis used to churn through with his viewers in tow. Locally, WGN-Channel 9 will air its own telethon programming from 5 to 6 p.m., with intermittent cutaways from the national telethon thereafter.
On this years broadcast (which, ironically, will no longer be actually airing on Labor Day), a quartet of lightweights are standing in for Jerry: Nigel Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance), Nancy ODell (Entertainment Tonight), Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser) and Jann Carl (billed as an Emmy-winning journalist).
Celebrities will include Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Antebellum, Richie Sambora and Jordin Sparks.
It may be entertaining. It may spur contributions. But as a media event, this years telethon can hardly match the display of wretched excess Lewis guaranteed, especially in his epic, unbridled prime.
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Jerry Lewis is still of sound mind. Not as sharp mentally as he was before but still capable.
If they feel that he can’t handle an all night telethon, the least they could do is give him the dignity of opening and closing the show (maybe announcing then that this is going to be his last MDA telethon ).
That’s the least they could do for him after what he has done for the cause for over 5 decades.
Boy, am I behind the times. Aside from the first two I don't know who in the world the others are.
OK, but at least they should still have the telethon be the traditional length (21 hours or whatever) instead of compressed to 6 hrs. What a copout...
RE: Aside from the first two I don’t know who in the world the others are.
You don’t know Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Country Superstar Martina McBride? These singers are probably as “old” or “older” then Celine and Jennifer.
Lady Antebellum and Martina McBride are hack country singers. I’m surprised anyone wouldn’t know who Steven Tyler is. I mean, it’s not like he hasn’t been around for almost 40 years.
I don’t know who the others are.
It would be difficult in this day and age to have an entertainment lineup that would keep people tuned in for a full day.
I was going to say that maybe a guy in his 80s couldn’t handle that telethon, but I was also a little surprised at how good Jerry looks for his age.
I’m sure that most of you would think he’s 65-70 from this pic.
Jerry Lewis announced on Monday that he is retiring as the longtime emcee of the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon. As a labor of love, Ive hosted the annual Telethon since 1966, and Ill be making my final appearance on the show this year by performing my signature song, Youll Never Walk Alone,
Frankly, I'm surprised he didn't do it earlier...He was so bloated a few years back.
Time to pass the torch!!
Michael Savage was going into some weird tinfoil hat theory the other day that JL was involuntarily kicked off the telethon, but I forget exactly why he thought that.
Mr. Lewis is not well which was evidenced the last time I had seen him interviewed. He had gained an enormous amount of weight which he claimed was due to the medication he was taking.........
The fact that he is not going to be on the telethon could very well be that his health has taken a turn for the very worse and he has requested that no mention be made of it...........
He's done too much for MD and the telethon for them to diss him the way the media is suggesting............
See my post #15
Gotcha. Medication issue that’s turned him into a water balloon. Otherwise (as I said), he looked good enough that you would have expected him to keep hosting the MDA Telethon until he was 100.
Steven Tyler is a pedophile who judges 15 year old girls in Sin City on American Idol.
RE: and Ill be making my final appearance on the show this year by performing my signature song, Youll Never Walk Alone,
So, we assume that he will at least make one final appearance?
If so, why are there so many reports saying that he won’t even make one final bow?
Had his final appearance been made more clear, there would have been no brouhaha at all.
There is no MDA telethon in Phoenix, on any broadcast channel I can find.
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