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.
Your reply is right on. Jerry was the one who started the whole thing, and now he is “not welcome.”
They should have shown him at least doing the introduction.
Yeah, that’s why Michael Savage thought there was something fishy about his departure. The fact that it happened really abruptly and no cause was given when a simple “My health/age won’t let me do this anymore” would have sufficed.
Also his not being allowed to do a final show/sendoff.
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.
Not to take anything away from Jerry Lewis dedication to MDA, but, Danny Thomas has got to at least be at that level with St. Judes
Lewis ouster has me puzzled. I thought he had stepped down because of age and health. Now it seems he was ousted. What gives?
Because people are too inclined to believe what they want to believe, especially a controversy such as this where one probably doesn't exist.
Jerry Lewis is not well and hasn't been for quite some time so I'm of the belief that he wishes to maintain the privacy of his illness and allow the MD telethon to continue without them using him as a poster boy.
Guess we won't know for sure until after the telethon, right?
BIOGRAPHY OF JERRY LEWIS
Jerry Lewis announced May 16, 2011 that he is retiring as host of the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon. He has hosted the Telethon since 1966 and will make his final appearance on the Sept. 4, 2011, show by performing his signature song, "You'll Never Walk Alone."
Jerry Lewis will continue to serve MDA as its National Chairman, as hes done since the early 1950s.
A consummate entertainer and world-renowned humanitarian, Jerry Lewis is not just a cultural icon in the United States hes one of the most easily recognized personalities on the planet. Widely hailed as a comic genius, regarded as one of the true giants of the motion picture industry, and internationally celebrated for his vast contributions to humanity, Jerry personifies the term "living legend."
I feel the same way about Dick Clarke. But I think this has more to do with Jerry making some not so PC jokes over the past several years.
Mystery? Didn’t Jerry announce about a month ago he couldn’t do them any more because of health reasons? Article was run right here on FR. Don’t have a link but I remember it well.
Maybe they should just take him out and put him on an iceberg.
Where’s the mystery? I thought I’d read earlier this year that he was ‘retiring’ as the front man of the fundraiser. I never expected him to be there, this year.
They waited 4 years to can him?
Lewis started doing this about 55 years ago, initially in NYC, there would be no telethon without him.
MDA OWED it to him to let him go out with some dignity, thay should have made this into a big deal and let him hand this off to others.
Their behavior is disgraceful IMO.
I am not French so I never cared for his movies/comedy.
I heard him say many years ago the telethons took almost an entire year to organize. He’s 85 and very deserving of a retirement from a job which likely took a considerable portion of his time.
Mrs Lady person with the THINGS!
The bloating due to medication was some years back.
Earlier this year he indicated he would be making one last appearance this year but would remain as national Chairman of MDA.
Then a few weeks ago MDA announced tersely that he had “completed his run” as Chairman and would not be appearing on the telethon.
I recall news that Mr. Lewis made some joke about Gays. Also I remember seeing an interview of him on Entertainment Tonight where he criticized Obama. He was disgusted with this administration. (I think we are all =)
No, I have never heard of either. I grew up in the 1950s and was there when rock 'n roll first appeared. In the mid-1960s I was a radio disk jockey and appreciative of singers of songs that had what we quaintly used to call "melody." That aspect of songs seemed to have died out somewhere in the late 1970s, so I quit listening.
As to country and western music, that too changed and not for the better. The disappeance of such instruments as the fiddle and the steel guitar, to be replaced by multiple drums and electric guitars, did the music no favor, so I quit listening to that, too.
The rock 'n roll music and C&W music that you grew up with bear little resemblance to the real thing. Or at least, what I consider to be the real thing.
I don't watch TV, so you can understand why I don't know who Mr. Tyler is. I haven't missed much, now have I?
he’s only a hundred and fifty years old. what’s the mystery?
If you grew up in the 50s and were in the DJ scene through the 60s, you've heard of Aerosmith. I mean it's nice and all that you want to play quaint fuddy duddy, but you're not 90 years old.
Note that I said “mid-60s.” I worked for various radio stations beginning in 1962 and ending when I graduated from college in 1966.
I have heard of the word Aerosmith from posts here on FR but I never heard any of their “music.” Tell me the names of some of their hits that I missed.
Would I recognize any of the melodies? Could you hum one of their songs and pick up the melody to your satisfction? Or was their stuff the loud, raucous torture of guitars that I associate with the “music” of bands that took over rock ‘n roll in that period?
P.S. I am 70 years of age.
"Huh, sonny I can't hear you. Led Zeppawhat" "Those darn kids and their Floyd and Pinkerton".
At the age of 32. Sure.
The popular music changed so much in the late 60s that I quit listening. It lacked melody. It might seem unintuitive but not every 32-year-old listens to pop music.
And you are calling me a liar and I don’t appreciate that.
Again, name me some of their hits. I quit listening but I might have run across references in the press to their hits.
And ask you again: was their music loud and unmelodious? If it had melody you could hum it.
Your silence on the issue tells me all I need to know.
I gave up on television when they switched to color in the mid-60’s. that and their huge, unnecessary 13” screens. my Philco was all I needed.
never heard of Aerosmith? dream on ...
or perhaps Toys in the Attic is more apropo
If you’ve ever listened to Sean Hannity on the radio, Martina McBride sings his theme song, Independence Day (Let Freedom Ring). You HAD to have heard that. She does another fantastic song - Broken Wing. Check her out on youtube.com.
Yes, I’ve heard that although it hardly sounds like a r&r song, now does it? You mentioned another song that the lady sang, is that an Aerosmith song too? As for youtube.com I never bother with that.
Now, as to that list of chart-busting hit songs by Aerosmith that you referenced...
Oh, I noticed that I replied to your post instead of that of triumphant values, who still hasn’t replied to my question about Aerosmith hits. I guess those multi-platinum albums didn’t contain any recognizable singles.
And he didn’t tell me about the quality of their music. I’ll bet it was the garden-variety guitars in agony and over-done drums.
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