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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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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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  • August 19, 2011 | Permalink |

    FYI…Jerry was never IN the Rat Pack.

  • August 19, 2011 | Permalink |

    I always felt better knowing that Mr. Lewis would be overseeing my donations to this worthy cause. I just don’t know who to trust anymore with people taking advantage of old people like they do. I hope whoever takes over is someone I know and trust or I don’t think I will be able to donate this year.

  • August 21, 2011 | Permalink |

    Jerry Lewis is an icon t the MDA. For him not to chair would be a discrace even he were rduced to a blithering idot, whaich is not true. Poor politicis. The Association saw a marked reduction in contributiions and changed it politics.
    jerry is not easy, but he is the best you got.

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