Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Jerry Lewis Gone From Telethon After 45 Years
No one would sniff at all the dollars Jerry Lewis raised for muscular dystrophy: a couple of billion during his 45-year reign as host of the MDA Telethon. Jerry put on a show like no other.
Labor Day 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 on Sunday from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Celebrities will include Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Antebellum, Richie Sambora and Jordan Sparks.
On Aug. 3, when, with no elaboration, MDA announced that Lewis had "completed his run" as national chairman, and that he would not be appearing on the telethon, as promised earlier.
The telethon will be on again this Labor Day weekend, in some faint version of what Lewis wrought. But for those who watch, and remember it with Jerry, it is likely to feel like a lonely affair.
at 10:44 AM