Jerry Lewis Says Goodbye as Telethon Host

By: MDA Release
By: MDA Release

July 27, 2011 -

After 45 years, legendary comedian Jerry Lewis has announced his retirement as MDA Telethon host, although he will continue to serve as MDA National Chairman. “I'll never desert MDA and my kids,” he vowed.

In a May 16 statement announcing his retirement, Jerry said, “It's time for an all-new Telethon era. This year's six-hour prime-time Telethon on Sept. 4 will be spectacular, and I'm thrilled to be part of it. We're so close to treatments that it's absolutely vital for everyone to tune in and make a generous donation. America has always found a way each year to give just one dollar more to help my kids.”

The 2011 MDA Labor Day Telethon will be the first to be broadcast entirely in prime time. Instead of the traditional 21½-hour broadcast, the six-hour show will air in every time zone from 6 p.m. to midnight (live on the East Coast and tape-delayed everywhere else). It promises to be a lively and fast-paced mix of entertainment by top performers, updates on breaking research, profiles of people MDA serves, and more.

Tune in to see some of your favorite celebrities “Make a Muscle, Make a Difference” for MDA. Performances by country music superstars Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum and Martina McBride already are scheduled, and more big acts are signing on every day.


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  • by florida girl on Jul 28, 2011 at 11:51 AM
    well if you feel that way just work hard to get someone who has devotion, energy and name like Jerry Lewis to champion what you feel needs the funding. MD by the way is a name that cover over 30 different inherited neuro muscular diseases under the one umbrella.
  • by Lip Cheese on Jul 27, 2011 at 06:50 PM
    Haven't we poured enough money into this cause? They should retire the whole organization. Why do these people deserve better funding than people suffering from other diseases who could also use research funds.
    • reply
      by judy on Jul 28, 2011 at 12:15 AM in reply to Lip Cheese
      the other diseases do have fund raisers. Some have tv coverage and some don't. The difft here is the time he has given to it. It is not his fault the others don't do the same. I hope you don't come down with it, if you do REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID HERE.
  • by Lettie Location: Oklahoma on Jul 27, 2011 at 03:37 PM
    All is not as it seems. Mr. Lewis was unceremoniously dumped and did not retire of his own free will. He chose, however, to take the high road so as not to upset people any more than they already are. Thank you.
    • reply
      by anon on Jul 27, 2011 at 06:22 PM in reply to Lettie
      huh? canu b more specific?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 27, 2011 at 07:56 PM in reply to Lettie
      WOW!
  • by dee Location: fl on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:30 PM
    It just will not be the same without Jerry but I wish him a happy retirement
  • by jo Location: Tallahassee on Jul 27, 2011 at 11:55 AM
    I have watched this telethon since the beginning..Love that Jerry lewis..Hope they have someone as good as he is....
  • by WillW on Jul 27, 2011 at 11:44 AM
    He's done great things with Telethon, but it's been time for him to step down...
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