Jerry Lewis said on May that this year would be his last year doing the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Labor Day Telethon.
Now that’s not happening, according to R. Rodney Howell, the chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s board. Mr. Howell also said in a statement that Jerry Lewis had been “released” from his position as national chairman of the association, but did not explain why. Representatives for Jerry Lewis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Muscular Dystrophy Association said,
“Jerry Lewis is a world-class humanitarian and we’re forever grateful to him for his more than half century of generous service to MDA. We will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman, and he will not be appearing on the Telethon.”
MDA did not say who would replace Jerry Lewis as the host of the 24 hour event.
This announcement came a few weeks before the telethon, which Jerry Lewis has hosted since 1966. This May Jerry Lewis said he was retiring from the show, a television staple, but he had planned to appear on it this year. But while Jerry Lewis fans won’t be able to see him on this year’s telethon, the Encore cable channel announced today that on October 22 it would offer the premiere of “an original documentary” about him.
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The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s decision might be partly because of comments Jerry Lewis made last weekend at the TCAs. When asked what his role would be with the telethon, he answered:
“I didn’t mean to sound rude. But you have to assume the question you asked was motivated by something, and it had to be a little emotion. And I have to tell you the truth. September the 5th, the day after that program, I will have an international press conference with press from Reuters and London and China and Taiwan and all over the world, and I will have plenty to say about what I think is important. And that’s the future, not the past. Okay.”
It seems he will show us what really happened the day after the Telethon that no one will be watching.