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April 23, 2014

Jerry Lewis to Retire From Annual Labor Day Telethon After 45 Years

by Jean Bentley, posted May 17th 2011 11:50AM
Jerry LewisIt truly is the end of an era.

Comedian and overall TV legend Jerry Lewis announced today that he'll retire from hosting his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon, with this Labor Day's event being his last.

"As a labor of love, I've hosted the annual Telethon since 1966, and I'll be making my final appearance on the show this year by performing my signature song, 'You'll Never Walk Alone,'" he said in a statement. "I'll continue to serve MDA as its National Chairman -- as I've done since the early 1950s. I'll never desert MDA and my kids."

The 21 1/2-hour telethon has raised more than $2.45 billion over the years, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. Lewis has dedicated more than 900 hours of live television raising money for the MDA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy.

"This year's six-hour prime-time Telethon on Sept. 4 will be spectacular, and I'm thrilled to be part of it," Lewis continued. "We're so close to treatments that it's absolutely vital for everyone to tune in and make a generous donation. America has always found a way each year to give me that just one dollar more to help my kids."

MDA President and CEO Gerald C. Weinberg thanked Lewis for his service, saying "All of us who've been privileged to work beside him and the hundreds of thousands throughout the world affected by the myriad of muscle diseases MDA battles will acknowledge in our hearts forever the unrivaled role Jerry has played in our lives and the lives of all Americans. We're deeply honored that Jerry Lewis will continue as MDA's National Chairman and we're profoundly grateful for everything he has done and is doing for the Association."

Tell us: Do you have any fond memories of Telethon days of yore? Are you sad to see Lewis step down as host?

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tyljay34

Thanks Jerry For All you do for the Kids I have watched you since I was a little Kid You Will Be Missed. Your passion for Mda Kids is unrivaled The world needs more people Like you If more people would use there time to get involved in an organzation that truely makes a diffrence the world would be alot better place than all the wars and petty things people get caught up in Thanks Jerry for all you do For The KIDS

August 06 2011 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jayrockspa

Jerry Lewis I was born in 1970 I have watched you every year of my life helping MDA I will still donate to Jerry's Kids. Jerry will always be in our hearts and thoughts.

Thanks alot Jerry you have done an excellent for 45 years and you'll never be replaced. I hope the thrill isn't gone.

God bless you Jerry

August 05 2011 at 6:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robhllnd2

The thrill is gone!

August 05 2011 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jiacona237

God Bless You for your inspiration and dedication to this cause. Many families have looked to you as a symbol of hope. You are very special.

August 04 2011 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jle1116

i think he did a good job

August 04 2011 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
judithalan

A wonderful man, a wonderful charity. My son had Muscular Dystrophy. He would have been 52 this year. MDA provided a wheelchair, a hospital bed, etc., without ever asking personal embarassing questions about our finances. They were there any time we needed them. Thank you to all who donate time or money to the cause.

August 04 2011 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dsnowbird2

Dear Jerry,
Many thanks for your time & effort over the years raising funds for the MDA! Hope you & family each doing well...
Take good care of yourself & thanks again...
Diane Pratt
Wappingers Falls, New York
12590

August 04 2011 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HANK

I grew up watching the telethon. You will be missed. It was always the must see for labor day.

August 04 2011 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maggjer

I loved both watching and contributing to this telethon knowing that Jerry was leading the charge. Thank you for all the great memories and for raising money to give kids hope for a normal life.

May 18 2011 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jerry McGregor

You will be missed. I grew up with you on the the telethon. Thank you for all the wonderful years. God bless

May 18 2011 at 8:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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