The Muscular Dystrophy Association said Friday that “the new realities of television viewing and philanthropic giving” make it the right time to end the annual event, memorably hosted for most of its life by Jerry Lewis.
The long-standing telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association is moving from syndication to primetime on ABC. The two-hour MDA Show of Strength Telethon on all ABC stations across the country on Sept. 1 at 9-11 p.m., an hour shorter than last year’s broadcast.
American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said after co-hosting Sunday’s program that he’s sorry the famed comedian didn’t participate, but the organization needs to move on to ensure the fundraiser continues.The telethon raised nearly $61.5 million Sunday, an increase of about $2.6 million over last year, MDA officials said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jerry Lewis said Saturday that his years of service to the Muscular Dystrophy Association helped make him a star, but he didn’t provide details on his recent departure as the group’s national chairman. In his first public appearance since the that announcement, Lewis accepted a lifetime achievement award from the Nevada […]
The comedian, 85, has been the MDA’s national chairman since the early 1950s and has hosted the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon since 1966. MDA Chairman R. Rodney Howell said in a statement that Lewis “will not be appearing on the telethon” and “we will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman.” Lewis has in recent years battled a debilitating back condition, heart issues and the crippling lung disease pulmonary fibrosis.