Jerry Lewis Retiring From MDA Telethon In September

LAS VEGAS (AP) — After 45 years, Jerry Lewis is retiring as host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day telethon.

The 85-year-old comedian and Las Vegas resident issued a statement Monday through the Tucson, Ariz.-based Muscular Dystrophy Association calling it time for a “new telethon era.”

He says he’ll make his final appearance on the six-hour primetime telethon Sept. 4 by performing his song “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Lewis says he’ll continue as the association’s national chairman, a role he’s held since the early 1950s.

Lewis’ first Labor Day weekend telethon in 1966 was broadcast by a single New York City television station and raised more than $1 million.

Last year’s Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon raised almost $59 million to fund research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy and ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Dennis

    He is and was a great spokeman and fund raiser but his retirement is about 10yrs to late.

    • RonnieReagan

      Please ignore Lute. He’s too ignorant to have any hope at understanding Jerry’s contribution to sick children and their families across our nation.

      • Lute

        Wow. You just read my mind now. Amazing!

    • SourPuss

      OMG!! Who gives a s#!t? Try to read what the user is saying instead of playing spelling cop you @$$.

    • sistaelle

      You’re just p.o’d cause in 100 lifeitmes you’ll never approach the magnitude of great charitable works that Mr Lewis has. Thanks for working so tirelessly Jerry. You’ll be missed.

    • Gene

      Wow, a guy raises hundreds of millions of dollars over 45 years
      time, and THIS is the thanks you give him?

      Come on, don’t hold back. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

    • nomatter

      If anyone knows Jeff and can get to him please remove all sharp objects from his proximity, make sure his helmet is on and double the padding on the walls in his room.

    • Tomas


      About 75% of all celebrities are “foul-tempered narcisists [sic].”

      The left is notoriously skimpy when it comes to giving of their resources to help needy people. Jerry puts his money where his mouth is. For that – and for his tireless work behind the scenes with MDA as national chairman – he is to roundly commended.

    • Mike in SC

      Dennis, thank you for sharing your OPINION. I’m sorry some people have grown accustomed to attacking people for voicing their thoughts. I suppose the anonymity of the Web gives some people a little extra bravado I stopped watching and volunteering at the tel-a-thons years ago. I appreciate the tremendous good the MDA accomplishes, but I got tired of the very strange “pat-yourself-on-the-back” culture that pervades the MDA. They will continue to do wonderful things without me or JL. (get ready for the hate….)

    • Lute

      Wow. That was amazing how you read Dennis’ mind. Now for your next trick guess what finger I am holding up.

    • Martin

      That’s exactly what Dennis means.

      Dennis just wait until you’ve got a few more years to you. Then you won’t be so willing to write off good people going out of their way to help others.

      • Len

        Didn’t help is first wife.

    • Kim

      He’s a guy who doubtless means well, but (unfortunately) what will stick most with me about his association with the telethon is his unfortunate choice of song; singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to kids too young to see the metaphor in that (and its inappropriateness to the situation regardless of listener age) *every year* at the END of the telethon was a sure way to go out on an incredibly bad note. Just, yuck.

      • alan

        I hope you are kidding otherwise you are an idiot

    • Jeff

      I think theres a place in hell waiting for you. And thats from this Jeff.


      age discrimination!


      • Debbie Kipp

        I agree with you I have watched the telethon for as long as I can remember I even took donations as I was growing up,and as an adult contunie to donate,The only telethon I ever watched Love you Jerry you will be missed

    • Dakota

      WHAT ARE THE ODDS – that Lou Gehrig suffered from Lou Gehrig’s Disease?

    • sharon from Ontario, Canada

      sorry Dennis but Mr. Lewis’s retirement is not 10 years to late.

      Mr. Lewis is an ICON….he is truly a generous, caring individual! He has put his own family and more recently his health issues aside for the kids and the annual telethon.

      He is a man of honor, integrity and he will be missed but his continued desire and drive to find cures of MD will never go away.

      Kudo’s Mr. Jerry Lewis for your endless laughter and devotion – you are and always will be a hero to me sir.

      Canadian viewer!

    • Rocky

      Simply stated; GOD BLESS you Jerry Lewis. Your tieless effort and relentless work has done more than anyone in recent history to aid those afflicted with a horrendous disease. As you retire understand that many pray for you and that your work will continue. I hope you are able to appear on the 50th telethon if only as a guest host to receive the acclaim that you deserve. Again may God Bless you as you have surely blessed those children your work touched over the decades.

      • beth ryker

        dear jerry i agree you true god send to the mda kids and there family.i have watch the mda teleton as i can remmer you be miss have always made laugh and cry.i never sene in one who cares so deaply about your mda children you are truely a great person. i hope you try to rest more and injoy being home with wife and daughter in joy me home with your family and let them take of you. you deseve the best.hope make guest vist on the show once in while. god bless!

    • Greg in Washington DC

      He has never received a Kennedy Center Honor nor the Mark Twain Award nor even an award from a US President such as the medal of Freedom. He has given so much and has never asked for anything in return except a donation to his kids. It’s about time that President Obama and the Kennedy Center Board wake up and honor this man for his efforts and talent through out his life. The French as least did.

  • Keith

    Jerry IS the telethon!!!!

  • HumbleGenius

    In other news, Jerry Lewis is still alive.

    • Gene

      You’re not humble and you’re certainly not a genius.

    • harper1

      I thought he died

  • BigBoa

    Stop knocking him. The guy has given tirelessly to this cause. No doubt more than any of you have ever given to anything or anyone but yourselves. So just knock it off.

    • MikeG

      Man, they slander and mock Mother Theresa, so they’ll surely mock Jerry – free speech is wonderful! Too bad we have to put up with the haters and ungrateful creeps. Thank you so much Jerry. We love you.

  • Michael Libman

    Jerry Lewis = mensch!

  • Crenshaw

    That’ll be the most watched telethon in years.

  • Pat Nash

    With all due respect to every foundation or research board. How do we know that the only thing they have discovered is many, many, millions of dollars will roll in to them whether they find cures or not?

  • Frederick

    Thank you Jerry!

    You are a “Man” in the finest sense of the word.

    Because of your love and dedication to this cause you have made the world a better place.

    PS, I absolutely loved all your movies when I was a kid. In fact, I think I will watch some again. You’re the best!

  • stephen g

    Thank you Jerry. You are a good man.

  • Frederick

    A lot of good has been done and a cure is in sight for some types of MD. Members of my family are afflicted by Muscular Dystrophy and the funding Jerry’s Telethon has raised has been very helpful in making their lives better.

    Bravo Jerry!

  • Raymond B.

    Jerry Lewis has given back much more to society than he has taken = Winner!

    Thanks for all your hard work Mr. Lewis.

    • Dahnoo

      Great comment – this hits it right on!

    • Brenda

      When a cure does come I’m sure he will get NO CREDIT from the Big Wigs!!! So Unfair. Jerry devoted his life to this now they discard him as trash!

  • Jim Steckel

    May God forever bless this giant of a man. He did so much for so many, especially in this endeavor, that he will always be considered their main benefactor.

    Let’s hope that he can have a long, comfortable and thoroughly enjoyable retirement.

    • Deb

      Deb Blond;Have Always Truly Enjoyed watching & listening to,Jery Lewis, &,Labor Day Telethon!!!My Friendly suggestion to you,Jerry;Please cut off your swearing,Dear Man!I’ve heard you Cleanly speak,&,you do wonderful!HAVE A REAL MAGNIFICENT RETIREMENT,JERRY!!!GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER!!!Mon. May 30/11.

  • Tex

    WE’ve also spent billions of dollars on the war on poverty with no results. lets end that as well.



  • bill h

    wow, I can understand someone not liking jerry but some of the remarks are off the charts. As someone who came from the same neighborhood I like jerry and am proud of his ceaseless support of this disease. labor day will not be the same

  • Pete

    Where has all the money raised gone?
    I have friends with MS and it’s still going strong!

    • RonnieReagan

      As the father of a little girl with neurological issues (though not MD) who has and is living through the nightmare of trying to help our daughter, I take issue with the thought that they are quelching a possible cure. Many of the professionals we deal with would literally trip overthemselves to be “THE ONE” to figure out how to “cure” or rationally address this disease.

    • awm

      Point is, all of these years and all of that money and still no cure. Because they don’t want to find a cure. It is too much of a cash cow. They find a cure, they are out of a job. That is a fact of research.

    • G Kenson

      It only mentions muscular dystrophy and ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Did the article fail to include MS?

    • LSB

      this is the telethon for MD not MS so I guess thats where the money goes… jeez

  • Alan Reiter

    God bless Jerry Lewis.

  • Ruth

    I have watched Jerry do the Telethon for many, many years. God Bless him and I wish him well. “Job Well done Jerry”.

  • Ruth

    These people who make the rude remarks probably wouldn’t get of their arse to help anyone. Jerry put his whole life into trying to help these kids. so, If you don’t volunteer your time to help others, Shut Up!!

    • truth

      i have MD and i can tell you JERRY IS A CROOK as is the foundation all they do is fund then selfs not much of the money goes to look for a cure

      • Consequences

        …if you have MD, then Harry Truman was a Hottentot…

      • Well Seasoned gives MDA a two-star (out of four) rating.

        Organizational Efficiency
        Program Expenses 77.1%
        Administrative Expenses 7.9%
        Fundraising Expenses 14.8%
        Fundraising Efficiency $0.16

        and compares it (the numbers are scores) to these organizations:

        Muscular Dystrophy Association – AZ 42.60 (2 stars)
        Can Do Multiple Sclerosis – CO 55.31 (3 stars)
        American Academy of Neurology Foundation – MN 59.67 (3 stars)
        Hunter’s Hope Foundation – NY 60.32 (4 stars)
        Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance – PA 66.06 (4 stars)

  • Chris

    They are remodeling the MDA center in Tucson. Time for another telethon for more renovations. $59,000,000 well spent.


    Ryan Seacrest your phone is ringing….

  • hal

    dbs: With you having no heart nor tinge of conscience, it would be impossible to “lay a guilt trip” on you. You obviously know nothing about muscular dystrophy. It is not just one disease but many different ones. And lot of research is done with the help of MDA funding. Many treatments have been developed for diseases under MDA’s umbrella. I’ll speak for them because I am one of the beneficiaries of the research, and the treatment for my extremely rare disease wasn’t discovered until 2007.

  • Hal

    Pete: You’re confused. MS isn’t the same as MD. MS is multiple sclerosis.

  • JamieK

    All that money raised and still no cure. Wonder how much out of each dollar actually goes to where its needed.

  • Jerry Lewis Retiring From MDA Telethon In September « CBS Los Angeles « scotsblog

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