Home Uncategorized Former 21 Hour Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon Reduced to Two Hour...

The poor old former Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular Dystrophy: it’s been reduced now to two hours on ABC on September 1st. Gone completely is the famed 21 hour show that went through the night from Sunday to Monday on Labor Day, with Jerry Lewis watching the tote board and local stations pitching in to find money for MDA. In 2011, Lewis didn’t appear and was eliminated from MDA with no explanation after 50 years.

In 2012, Lewis was even further erased, and the show was slimmed down from six hours to three. It resembled nothing of its former glory. Now MDA has announced the show is just a two hour special on ABC. All gone are the local shows that fed the syndicated one. And Jerry Lewis has been wiped from the show’s history.

Interestingly, I reported after the 2011 show that MDA was unable to actually collect 50% of the money that was pledged without Lewis. After last year’s three hour show, no announcement was ever made about how much money was pledged or what was collected. MDA still hasn’t filed its Form 990 for 2012, so questions remain about how viable the telethon– now just show– is anymore in its enfeebled state.

At the end of 2011, after the first telethon without Lewis, Charity Navigator gave MDA a 41.78 out of 70, two stars out of four. MDA had the lowest score of five similar organizations. The ranking hasn’t been revised since no tax filing has come in yet for 2012.

12 replies to this post
  1. . somehow there are still people that in this day in age Refuse to let the memories of a bygone era fade away and get on with the current day. there are some that have put the man (Jerrry Lewis) above the agency that actually helps the children and adults with muscular diseases. They believe that some miraculous act and a little taunting by Rabid Jerry Lewis Fanboys and Fangirls about the Show of Strength or other MDA fundraising did not bring in the bucks that they did in Jerrys day no matter how apples to oranges the comparisons are. will convince the MDA to change its mind and have Jerrry’s show back in its 21 hour glory, archaic 70’s Vegas stars, vaudeville acts and Catskills comics included. REALITY CHECK THE MDA IS MOVING FORWARD and Jerrys rabid Fans don’t get a clue. This is about an organization not Jerry Lewis. the MDA is bigger than Jerry Lewis. its about people that need help. lets stop the anti-MDA propaganda because some people in the community with drunk loyalty to Mr Lewis can’t get over themselves and realize that it isn’t 1976 anymore and start living in the present day. You people need to stop living in the past the MDA isn’t going to pander to the fanboy/girl minority and bring Jerry Back. REPEAT: JERRY WILL NEVER Be Brought BACK TO THE TELETHON. Time Marches ON!

  2. It was supposed to be handed down off the next of kin, but his son died of an overdose and i don’t know about Danny and his others. This was to keep things the same. But something must have happened. Would be nice though to see his daughter or son revive the spirit again.

  3. I used to watch the MDA telethon when I was a kid. It was a bellwether that summer was ending, school was starting, and football season was just around the corner. Now the telethon is gone, and school and football season start before Labor Day.

  4. The whole situation is very disturbing to me as my mom was a District Director for MDA for many years. MDA is vital to all of the kids afflicted with this disease and for some yahoo to come in and cut Jerry Lewis out and change up things that had worked is stupidity and sad. All of the hard work that so many people like my mom and Jerry Lewis and firefighters and even bikers did (I saw first hand) was so touching for all these kids and now what? I guess we will just tell these kids sorry we cant help with your wheelchairs or even send you to camp like regular kids because we stopped trying to raise money for you. All I can say is shame on those people who are not the least bit interested in trying to find a cure or help people afflicted with this disease!!!!!!

  5. The two hour special seems low to me. How can they possibly raise that huge amount of money in such a short period of time. Eliminating the local aspect of the show is what is going to hurt. Year after year, local firemen, businesses and organizations all came together to raise money for MD. Oh well, they will just funnel that money elsewhere.

    But the biggest aggrievance has to be toward Jerry Lewis. How in the world, after raising billions for MDA, do they even have the guts to just erase his memory as if it never existed? That is what is appalling, my friends. This was all handled poorly, to say the least, and Jerry deserved much better treatment. #jerrylewis #MDATelethon

  6. The telethon now is a huge joke. I stopped watching as soon as Jerry Lewis was canned. I would rather watch the reruns then the garbage MDA shows now.

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