As this year’s MDA Labor Day Telethon took shape, with Mirage headliner Terry Fator the leading representative from Las Vegas, a two-hour documentary of Jerry Lewis helming the show in 1989 has surfaced.
The footage, culled from a report by the then-syndicated celebrity show A Current Affair about 1989’s telethon, was posted on YouTube a couple of weeks ago.
The bootleg doc shows Jerry Lewis, in top form, backstage at Cashman Center rehearsing, joking, chiding, kissing babies and stretching duct tape across zippered tap shoes to protect his expensive tuxedos.
Jerry Lewis, now 88, is shown informally, wearing shorts and T-shirts from a variety of NFL teams, and there is a classic moment of Frank Sinatra bantering with Lewis via satellite from the telethon’s outpost in Atlantic City, then rehearsing Mack the Knife as Jerry Lewis watches.
The footage is shot in black and white, all the way, with Jerry Lewis at the center.
As has been the case in each MDA Labor Day telecast since Jerry Lewis’ final telethon in 2010, he is not taking part in the fundraising telecast.
Jerry Lewis said that he has not even watched a moment of the telethon since walking offstage for the final time at South Point.
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