Friday, August 05, 2011


Well, what a way to go out. First, the Muscular Dystrophy Association cuts back the hours of the Jerry Lewis Telethon from 21 hours down to something like six hours for the upcoming Labor Day, and then came the news earlier this year that this was going to be Jerry Lewis's final telethon as host -- that he would be "retiring", and he would make a brief appearance singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" and that would be it.

Well, the retirement has come sooner than anticipated because on Thursday came word that Jerry is now off the telethon completely. He is out as National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, too.

I dunno what to make of this announcement or why this happened. A lot of speculation is out there about behind-the-scenes infighting, including speculation that Jerry's comments trashing American Idol may have been the last straw.

Now granted, he wasn't even on the whole telethon last year anyway, but you would have thought these folks in charge would have found some room for Jerry. Just a few days ago, he seemed to make it clear he was not in a mood to retire at all -- pretty much at odds with what the MDA's line of baloney was. And he's still active with a multitude of projects, and his health seems to be holding up.  Maybe MDA didn't like Jerry's attiitude in the press about retirement. Also, a while back, Jerry got in trouble over trashing Lindsay Lohan and her legal troubles, so maybe this really is the reason: the people at MDA may be fed up with Jerry always opening his big mouth.

The news has prompted a negative reaction from the comedians, who are expressing outrage over this. All in all, it is not going to be the same; as this critic notes, what point is there to watching the telethon now? 

Personally, I don't see why MDA would want to banish Lewis from the telethon. Among other things, people watch the show just to see Jerry Lewis be nutty on TV! Besides, he's the biggest supporter the Muscular Dystrophy Association has. You'd think MDA would want all the help they could possibly get from their supporters -- not the other way around! Banishing the biggest MDA supporter of them all really makes no sense to me.

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