For the first time in 45-years Jerry Lewis will not be hosting the Labor Day telethon for Muscular Dystrophy which he helped put on the map. It was originally believed that the 85-year-old comedian made the choice to exit the show on his own accord, however other reports now state that the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) made the choice for him.
According to the Philly:
“The Tucson, Ariz.-based association announced earlier this week that the organization was parting ways with him after 45 years.”
The comedian’s firing from the show led several comedian friends to chime in against MDA, comedian Larry Miller said:
“If this is the way we’re going, we should also tell grandpa we don’t need him for Thanksgiving.”
While Tom Dreesen says MDA was fearful of handing the microphone to Lewis one last time after letting him know he was to be relieved of his hosting duties, according to Dreesen:
“There’s no way they would give him the microphone for five minutes.”
Millions of viewers tune into the telethon every single year to watch Lewis and his celebrity friends tell jokes and show off their talents and hidden talents, it will be interesting to see who will replace the funnyman and how well the show will do when Jerry Lewis isn’t the man acting as the shows ringleader.
In the meantime longtime friend Roger Ebert has teamed up with various actor and comedians in support of their friend who has fought on the behalf of MD sufferers for years.