Home Celebrity Jerry Lewis: MDA Hosts Just Lie, and Tell Audience He Retired

UPDATE: The hosts of the MDA Telethon just lied to the audience and told them that Jerry Lewis had retired. Do they think the viewers live under a rock? Everyone knows that Lewis was ousted. I’m told that “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe is basically running the show. “It’s all Idol people backstage,” says a source. Lythgoe told the audience in opening remarks that Lewis told him he was retiring. This was echoed by the other hosts. Lewis must be seething, and with good reason. They made it sound like he’d died. Unbelievable.





125 replies to this post
  1. I think it’s very sad the way the went about ousting him. They could have let him finish the show for one more year. They showed him getting an award not long ago, and he seemed fine. I used to work for Mr. Bob Ross, and know Jerry Weinberg, and something tells me Mr. Weinberg had nothing to do with this. It may have been a vote taken by the board. Very sad, however it went down. I loved working for MDA, and have nothing but wonderful things to say about the people I worked with there. I hope people will continue to support muscular dystrophy, because it’s a very important organization that does wonderful work for people who really need help. If you call MDA I’m sure you can also get a copy of their Annual Report, and you’ll see that most of their funds go toward the eradication of diseases mentioned on their show, with very little going toward workers, offices, etc. And, because they do most of their filming, printing, etc., right at their headquarters they save thousands of dollars not having to rent other spaces or other companies to do it for them. Very well run organization, especially when Mr. Bob Ross ran it. Mr. Weinberg, in my opinion, was all about business, and propriety….doing what was right. Almost to a fault! He crossed every “t” and dotted every “i”…I used to work for him sometimes, and you better make sure you were prepared when he asked you a question! This is why I believe the decision was from the Board members. It could have been done in a better way…and Jerry Lewis will be missed…but let’s remember those whose lives have been affected by these diseases. I know a couple of people with them, and never in a million years would they have thought they would affect their lives. Please give, and give generously, because it IS a worthwhile company and cause. I’ve seen it first-hand, working right under the head CEO. MDA is a company I will always support, and was happy I was a part of such a great organization of people who really DO take their jobs seriously, and love working with people. They’re all very dedicated to anyone who calls out for help. So, if you know someone who needs their help, have them call them…they’ll be there for them.

  2. The whole thing is just sad. I watched for awhile then turned my TV off. For the first time in 20 years I will not be donating.

    Mr. Lewis RIP and enjoy your life.

  3. Not a very classy way to treat Jerry. Geez, in this economy, there are many other charities who would like my donations, and with this classless stunt, the MDA Telethon will not be receiving any donations from me.

  4. I wonder who Lewis antagonised so deeply that this was the only (sudden) recourse. I am also curious as to what else Lewis had done for the cause besides simply hosting the show once a year. By keeping his name out there despite a long-finished career, he should be grateful to MDA and retire gracefully rather than think that he himself represents the association.

  5. This is PATHETIC! Mr. Lewis gave his LIFE to this cause. To just cast him aside makes me question the TRUE intent of the current MDA foundation. Mr. Lewis was and IS a WELL respected person on MANY levels. His name and achievements will live on forever. American Idol and those OTHER cheesy shows put on by Nigel was just flashes in the pan. None of the winners are as successful as the runner-ups. Neither are they as successful as the MD sufferers that Mr. Lewis GENUINELY has cared about for a half a century.

    You “nowists” are pathetic. Mr. Lewis cared about the MDA people. You, sir only care about ratings. God will judge you. Plan on a not so favorable rating from Him.

  6. Through all the years Mr. Lewis has hosted the telethon I have watched. Due to the manner they have treated the man they won’t have me watching and I won’t watch in any years in the future. There could have been other options available to them other than the reprehensible treatment he has been given.

  7. I’m quite baffled by this whole ordeal. Is this some sort of major PR disaster? Lewis — love him or hate him: he’s been the driving force to MDA. He put it on the fundraising map and gave his heart and soul.

    If he is no longer effective, then gracefully bring in a new host or format. But this is insane.

    I donate every year but haven’t watch in years. I watch about 90 minutes tonight. It’s become a running commercial for products who are donating funds to the show. But it seems to have lost the soul it had years ago — especially when i was growing up. Small people would donate — not just via big corporation. Carnivals were held. Oh well. It’s a changing world. Let’s see if it now more successful.


  9. Run by Idol, no longer about MD but more now about money and salary just a bunch of no name losers looking for position over progress. It’s been a great run Jerry…. but can no longer support another wasted American entertainment tumor like American Idol.. let us know how to support the Australian MDA

  10. I can’t believe they are treating him like this…… Jerry Lewis may or may not be a NUT… but the man has a level of dedication that is unheard of in the modern world… his closest competitor is Dick Clark

  11. You mean an organization whose sole purpose is to collect money is paying the CEO, Gerald Weinberg, $400,000 a year? I would say, “He can go to Hell!” But from what I understand from the Bible and Dante’s Inferno, he definitely will anyway.

  12. I will never watch another telethon as long as I live and will never give one dime to mda just because of the way Jerry has been treated . Top people of this organization must be idiot’s

  13. If they think that I am going to watch to give another dime to this organiation they had better think again. Not only is this the shabbiest was to treat a long time volumteer who has given so much, they LIE about ending him.

    Who know what else they are lying about? Plenty for places to give my hard earned money!

  14. Is there something else to the story? This is just so bizarre how it all went down. Did Jerry Lewis cut off Nigel in traffic or something one day?

  15. Mr Jerry Lewis put his heart, soul and whole life out for this cause and what does he get in return NOTHINGthat I can see and when it came to cash payment Ibelieve anything he might have been paid he turned around an in a very quiet manner Gave It Back To Help This Cause..

    NOTHING for his thousands and thousands of hours of work and effort.
    This is just not right..

  16. I never even liked Jerry Lewis I always though of him as a big mouthed jerk but Mr Lewis has done so much for these people they should be very ashamed for what they have done to him. I would never give another penny to people like this my guess is 90% of what they take in they put into their massive salaries, job perks and private jets.

    I don’t know if Mr Lewis was paid for doing the show but if he had been paid a million dollars to do it, they would have had the bargain of the century.

    What I don’t get is mr Lewis raised over 2 billion dollars for MDA what the heck did they do with it?2 billion dollars and for this these people who really need help go what?

  17. Instead of focussing on MDA, which is something watched alot even into my teens since the 70/80 and always pledged my monthly allowance…… I was disgusted to hear he was retiring,which I knew was BS,,, he would never walk away from something he loved so deeply. IF I HAVE TO HERE ABOUT HIS RETIRED I WANT TO GET SICK I have many more charities I can/will be giving to. I am really hurt not to see and hear jerry’s broken up voice and tears you trrried to hide but you could not hide…JERRY YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE MY SWEETIE……………………………….HOPE YOU HAVE ENOUGH RESPECT TO LET HIM READ THIS…SORRY MDA HAS LOST MY DONATIONS

  18. It was a tradition on Labor Day to see Jerry Lewis. It won’t be the same without him. HE IS STILL AND WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AS “JERRY’S KIDS>”

  19. Fu—-g shameful. How sad is it to shit on someone that has been the face of your cause for so many years, who helped generate billions of dollars.

    I will not donate another penny to the MDA folks. This is unacceptable.

  20. Will not watch. Will not contribute. Ever again. I can give to MD in other ways that makes sure no $ go into the pockets of MDA officials. They just wrote their epitaph. Dumb, dumber and dumbest. Must be related to the current admin in DC.

  21. Sorry I tried to make comments at the MDA site but there was nowhere to do it. I think this is a great forum to say what I have to say.
    The treatment of Jerry Lewis by the MDA has been beyond reprehensible. I then got that mail looking for money using his name. I am sorry MDA but i donated every year, until this year. One part of me says what about the people that benefit? The other part says where does the money really go? I don’t know what to believe now. This should have been done so differently and the man should have gotten the respect and gratitude he was due. I doubt Jerry is saying he retired.

  22. i was collecting money as a kid in the mid-60’s…i got to talk to sally fields on the telephone…the thanks this man gets is this “Tom Landry” treatment? if the kids wouldn’t suffer, MDA would never get a dime of money from me again; however, because of the kids, you slimebuckets will still get the money. reap what you sow, morons! and if you really do get $400,000 for a salary, mr weinberg, you’re already neck deep in getting ready to sow a mass of heartache!

  23. Pardon The Expression,The only Way To Describe The People That Did This To Mr. Lewis Is SCUMBAG. I feel All The Money I Have Donated To HIS Charity Has Been A waste If It Can Be Compromised Like This,Digusting !!!!!!!

  24. I’m withholding my donation this year from the telethon because I can’t support any organization that treats someone (anyone really, but especially Lewis who arguably brought MDA to the public’s conscience) in such a fashion.

  25. I watched the opening minutes of the telethon and I thought Jerry Lewis had died. They talking about him like he was dead. Pathetic. Really, really pathetic of MDA to do this.

  26. MDA totally disrepsected Jerry Lewis, a man who raised over $2 billion for it! Is this the way for a legend to end? No way! No Jerry Lewis, no money from me. Weinberg and Lythgoe, you are idiots and both of you can stick your useless heads into where the sun don’t shine.

  27. After considering that the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon was very much an integral part of the Labor Day holiday, I’ll be damned if I ever give another red cent to MDA for their less than shoddy treatment that brought their organizaiton to the forefront.

    Instead of treating Jerry as a man and in particular, of the God knows how many millions he raised for them, I consider their lying excuses to be wholly disrespectful of the man and of the millions of Americans who gave so much to their organization.

    I hope their funds plummet and the organization itself folds.

  28. I watched MDA Telethon, with Jerry Lewis, since the beginning. It is not fair that they did not make a master postive production of him leaving. Thus is the way things go in this world TODAY!!!! It was better in the original days.

  29. I won’t give another dime to this organization nor will I watch the telethon for the way they treated Jerry Lewis and now learning that the head of the group who scims $400,000 off the top of a charity!!… sorry.. there are plenty of other worthy charities that need my money

  30. This is a shame to do this to the guy that started it all and has done it every year. What is wrong with the Producer? I will no long give to MDA and send my money to other causes such as The Childern’s Burn Hospital or so other worthy cause. Sure it was probably time for him to retire but you should have given him this last show. I am sick of how people are treated and I am done with this organization. You are terrible…

  31. Give it a rest. MDA is trying to raise money for kids with muscular dystrophy. Who cares if Jerry Lewis has his feelings hurt. With his rants about gays and other gaffes, who blames MDA for trying to protect the brand.

  32. Can’t Jerry just let go. He has been there for so long… He was ousted because he wasn’t effective enough. I for one no longer give to MDA in part because of Jerry Lewis.

  33. This Telethon was Lewis’ only link to credibility. When he no longer entertained nor inspired, he was asked to step down graciously. He refused. This muck-stirring is Lewis’ final (we hope) gift to his “kids”.

    So sad.

  34. I wouldn’t be surprised if this caused more big entertainment names to think twice about putting their personal stamp on a cause the way Jerry Lewis did. He lived and breathed the MDA Telethon and cause. Big egos in the IDOL group think they know better. Hmmph! I quit watching IDOL a long time ago but have watched the Telethon every year since I was a kid and I’m in my 60’s now.

  35. Wasn’t it fascinating watching the new Telethon hosts eulogizing Jerry Lewis and burying him alive? They spoke from the heart which happened to be pumping water through their veins. What a shameful display.

    I’ve known Jerry Lewis and his family my entire life. I’ve traveled the globe with him as his Personal Representative, and as a child I was in the wings of the 1956, 1957, and 1959 Telethons. I know the man, and I guarantee you that Jerry Lewis would have done this year’s Telethon from his deathbed if need-be.

    The Muscular Dystrophy Association has the right to select its spokespeople and hosts. But to shovel the dirt on Jerry Lewis’ coffin as they did at the beginning of the 2011 Telethon, is an affront to the entertainment industry, and to all the people who are supposed to donate to the MDA based on its, “truth and caring.”

    Jerry Lewis is no angel, and maybe today’s executives haven’t the paitence for his temperment. But Jerry Lewis’ heart and soul are wrapped up in the MDA which just flicked him off of their skin like a bug. Shame on the MDA and those entertainers who went along with the lie, for their own purposes.

    Rick Saphire

  36. Weinberg gets over $400,000 annually from MDA! How many more bloodsuckers are on the payroll. To hell with MDA. It’s just another rip-off charity.

  37. Hubby and I were discussing this over dinner. We agree it’s a shameful way to treat Jerry. This country, as a whole, seems to have lost it’s manners in may ways.


  38. Just a damn shame. I am 46 and grew up watching Jerry. He is the MDA. Were it not for him……I don’t need to finish that sentence; you all know. I have fond memories of watching him as a young man stay up all those hours introducing one act after another – tirelessly….just a damn shame.

  39. I am a rabid fan of Jerry Lewis and an equally loyal fan of the MDA telethon for many, many years. I think Mr. Lewis showed real class when he said he wouldn’t say anything until the next day after the telethon. The telethon, however showed no class. Wasn’t going to tune in but did and after I heard the ‘lies’ I tuned out and I’m done with it. You are my hero, Jerry and I love and miss you.

  40. What a tragedy for the poor folks supported by this charity! Any organization who would do this to their most visible advocate & public figure has just committed suicide!

    What will replace the Muscular Dystrophy Association?

  41. Total PR mess. You don’t treat a guy that gave (regardless of his paychecks) a TON of his love and feelings to bring money (billions) into this organization. Lewis is not retired, he’ll be retired when he’s dead. The problem is the state of entertainment is so bad, and JL is so truthful about the state of this mess we call ‘Idol’ quality garbage that its a risk to bring JL to the front. Not for JL, not for MD, but for the a$$holes cashing in and not wanting to risk the truth about it all.

  42. What a SHAM and a shame. Gerald Weinberg, you overpaid oaf…what have you ever done that could eclipse the service of Jerry Lewis? They should turn your job over to a bunch of college interns and send you out to pasture. A person without name recognition in the world of celebrity, regardless of your good intention, has no value. Is it possible that you have become a burden to those you serve. Thanks Jerry, you helped this fella have a nice beach house or two…he should have left instead! And a nation apologizes for the British sense of fair play… since there is no fair play in this deal…I just decided to put the $200.00 I normally pledge to MDA to other uses. Until Weinberg donates his earning from t6his year ..back to the organization…I’m done!

  43. This man is a saint and this is the thanks Jerry gets for so many years of work & dedication!

    On behalf of MDA: We apologize for treating you like this Jerry. God bless you Sir.

  44. God love him, Jerry has always been a difficult guy to deal with. This was true of his days with Dean Martin, and ever since then.

    He has an enormous ego, as most narcissists do; and there may have been no easy way to have him “retire” gracefully. After all, these telethons became institutions, because of him; and few Americans had heard of the MDA until “Jerry and his kids” taught us.

    It would be grand to give Jerry the tribute that he richly deserves, and pass the baton to someone new, who can keep the torch burning. After all, it is the kids who will suffer if this is not done.

    Hopefully it becomes win-win for all concerned.

  45. There is always someone who thinks that they can do better than 50 Years of experience. Lythgod is one arrogant guy. Lewis is arrogant also but he started this and is largly responsible for it’s success. I hope donations don’t fall off but I am very pessimistic when they bring politics into chartie

  46. MDA sucks and is a scam like most charities. My son and wife have muscle diseases and MDA has not done much to help them. If you need a wheel chair or braces for your legs, maybe. I can see where the money goes. $400,000 for the MDA head. That is bullcrap. Non-profit my butt.

  47. How hard would it have been to let the guy go out his way in his last year?

    MDA would still be a penny-ante group without Lewis’ promoting it for 60 years. He made them a leading charity.

    But there are plenty of charities I can give my money to, and most don’t act like jerks.

  48. Typical example of under-educated, low talent, self centered jerks living off the largess of others (those contributing). Gerald Weinberg, a guy who contributed massively less than Lewis but who has such an ego that they did not even have the common (oh sorry not so common anymore) decency and professionalism to recognize others. I am sad that this will be the beginning of a long decline in giving to MDA. So sad for the children.
    Does anyone think that the idol cast of characters have the integrity to continue with the dedication of those past. Laughable if it were not so sad.

  49. Back in 1976 I worked the Jerry Lewis telethon directing local station “break-ins” in San Jose, back then it was a big deal.

    Through the years the telethon has lost a lot of its luster and audience. But Jerry seemed to just hang in there and give it his all. A true showbiz trooper.

    No doubt Lewis is an odd and complicated person,probably not easy to work with, and maybe should have been phased out long ago. But to axe him in this manner is unprofessional and an insult. He certainly deserves better than this.

  50. I love Jerry Lewis. This man gave his life for his kids. I will not watch the telethon again, and what these people did to a true and loyal man is unforgivable. This is how a man that truly loved his kids and worked year after year for them gets. Don’t you just love the Greedy World today.
    God Bless Jerry Lewis

Leave a Reply