No Jerry Lewis clip will be included in Telethon Memory in Sunday’s MDA Show of Strength (8 p.m.-10 p.m., on ABC).
The MDA show’s rundown lists assorted highlight clips from telethons long ago from Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Carole King, Pitbull and Will.i.am.
Jerry Lewis is nowhere to be found on the show’s rundown, and MDA spokeswoman Roxan Olivas confirmed Monday that the comedian would not be featured in any clip on the TV show. However, Jerry Lewis will be mentioned on the air by Jann Carl, and the MDA has posted three memorable moments of Lewis on its website. But still, how the clip of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin on the 1976 show (with Frank Sinatra acting as a highly energized mediator) has not made the national fundraising telecast is sort of inexplicable.
Roxan Olivas did provide a clear message of gratitude in a follow-up e-mail on Monday, saying: “It’s a time of great hope and progress in research, as treatments are on the horizon for many of the muscle diseases we cover in our program; none of this would be possible without the remarkable efforts of Jerry Lewis.”
That’s the strongest statement of recognition of Jerry Lewis by any member of the MDA since he left the organization in 2010.
Other artists featured in the here-and-now (and in taped performances) are the reassembled Backstreet Boys, Lee Ann Womack, Darius Rucker, Kenny Loggins, Luke Bryan and (from the Luxor in Fabulous Las Vegas!) Jabbawockeez.
For those yearning for a tote-board countdown for the money raised, one will be posted on the MDA website.