MDA Cans Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis at the end of the 2010 MDA Labor Day Telethon.
 $63,7 million was raised.  He didn't know it, but it was to be
his final telethon.

Jerry Lewis is 85 years old. For the past 59 years he has been the National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For the past 45 years he has hosted a national telethon for the organization. Before that, he hosted local telethons dating back to the early 1950s. It is estimated that the man is responsible for raising $2.5 billion for MDA!

His biggest telethon haul was $65 million in 2008. 2008? That's when the economy crapped out. His "numbers" have been "off" since '08.

His Labor Day show was always important to the people with Muscular Dystrophy. I worked with the local chapter for 15 years and I could see the hope in the eyes of those affected. To the kids with muscular diseases, Jerry Lewis was, and is, a god!  MDA does wonderful work for so many. Much more could be done.

What happened to Jerry Lewis is unfortunate. We must remember that he was dismissed by the national level of MDA. We should also remember that egos and emotions, when bruised, can cause hasty and unwise decisions.  The mysterious nature of this change is troubling.

His fellow comedians are speaking out. After all, Jerry Lewis "wrote the book" on telethons and he broke some new ground for comedy. He has inspired and comforted so many. He deserves better than the treatment that he is getting.

It should be an interesting telethon, this year. It will be interesting to see if anyone talks about "the elephant" on the stage. The"elephant" will be the absence of Jerry Lewis.

No comments: