How Jerry Lewis Got Pink Slipped by MDA
HollywoodNews.com: EXCLUSIVE: Jerry Lewis–the Hollywood legend–has been kicked to the curb by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. After 45 years, he’s out as their public face, and the host of their annual TV telethon. Indeed, the telethon itself is pretty much cooked: it’s been reduced to six hours from its traditional twenty one and a half and air just on Sunday night, not even on Labor Day itself. All the drama of staying up overnight, will Jerry make it, will they reach their goal: it’s all over.
What you don’t know is that no one ever told Jerry. And that last fall, after the Labor Day telethon was over, the MDA people made the decisions and never informed Lewis.
Lewis finished last year’s MDA telethon with a flourish. He was 84, and had done the show since 1966. He’d actually been hosting MDA telethons since 1952–fifty eight years, folks, since before he was in the Rat Pack with Dean, Frank, and Sammy!
So it was more than a surprise when in early October the MDA board issued a press release about the following year. Did you miss that press release? So did Lewis. No one told him about it beforehand. And the release didn’t mention his name. It was then that the MDA board signaled they were ditching Lewis, who made awareness of Muscular Dystrophy an international phenomenon.
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