Saturday, August 06, 2011

How could they fire Jerry Lewis?

Thank you, Jerry for 45 years of great work. Now get out. That’s essentially what the MDA has done to telethon host/face of the charity Jerry Lewis. Oh, I’m sure he drove them crazy. I’m sure executives dove out of their 20th floor office windows when they heard he was in the building. But without Jerry there is no telethon. I mean, seriously, you’re replacing one of the icons of show business with Nigel Lythgoe?

The program will also be shortened this year from twenty hours to a mere six. And I bet they still have trouble filling the bill. Good luck getting Tony Orlando this year.

Once upon the time the Jerry Lewis telethon was a highlight of the year. Twenty hours of the highest camp, schmaltziest schmaltz, cheesiest cheese, and glitziest entertainment ever assembled on one stage. And it was all live. Jaw-dropping moments were as common as a check of the tote board.   I even wrote about it a couple of years ago. 

Jerry created this faux Vegas main showroom format, which was already dated in 1966 when he first introduced it. Over the years it became a time piece. Singers still in tuxedos and formal gowns – at 7:00 AM. Wayne Newton -- the major headliner. Lounge comics trotting out material that I’m sure killed in 1955. Puppeteers. Bird acts.

And it was all held together by Jerry. No comedian has ever taken himself more seriously, and in an unintentional twisted way, that only made him funnier. One minute dripping sincerity, the next crossing his eyes and acting like a moron. Genius! Sheer genius!

Add to the mix the fatigue factor. Put someone like that on live television with major sleep deprivation and by hour 15 you’ve got real theater. Crying, badgering, doing rat pack racial slurs. You never knew what you were going to get… from moment to moment. And again, that was the brilliance of it all. That was the appeal. Once Jerry took his tie off you were on high alert for hilarity.

Plus, it was all for a really good cause.

Say what you will, Jerry raised millions and millions for MDA. His telethon became a part of American culture. He is 85. You knew it was just a matter of time. But to not let him go out in a dignified way, on his own terms, that’s unconscionable.

As far as I’m concerned there is no more MDA telethon. And it’s too bad because Nigel’s kids need the help just as much as Jerry’s.

Thanks again for everything, Jerry. I’ll never be able to hear Rockabye My Baby With a Dixie Melody ever again without crying… and laughing.

50 comments:

Dave Williams said...

A beautiful tribute, Ken, to one of the most talented comics and baffling human beings of our time. I feel sorry for people too young to remember the genius of Martin and Lewis. Like you, I'm sure, when I was a kid and a new Jerry Lewis flick came out I couldn't wait to get to the theater and plunk down a quarter to see it.

I suspect there is more to the story than we've heard so far. Jerry may have gone around the bend or is just too physically and emotionally challenged to carry the ball one more time. Maybe he was raising holy, hilarious hell at the idea of cutting back the telethon to six hours. Whatever the situation, the MDA's blunt shucking of its benefactor may be nothing more than a clumsy effort to protect him from scorn. In any case, it's a damned shame.

Ian said...

I'm hardly a paragon of political correctness, but I don't use the term "retard," and I wish others wouldn't either.

Mac said...

That's rough. I'm sure there'll be fewer nervous breakdowns in the production staff, but couldn't they have found some way of easing him out? Like his Oscar appearance a couple of years ago? He spoke for a bit, got a standing ovation. Maybe he is simply incapable of doing even that. He did look very fragile then, so who knows.

I've got nothing against Nigel Lythgoe, I don't watch his shows, but millions do and enjoy them.
But I know what you mean - Jerry Lewis - a comic legend, perhaps any change was going to feel like a downgrade after such an iconic name as Jerry Lewis.

MikeBo said...

Nigel WHO? This is a Hollywood passing right up there with Bob Hope being told "no more Oscar telecasts." Or Bert Parks getting dumped from the Miss America Pageant. The bean counters have struck again!

Anonymous said...

"One minute dripping sincerity, the next crossing his eyes and acting like a retard."
Seriously?

Greg Ehrbar said...

My son and daughter are 11 and 13 and are enthralled with the Lewis films, simply by watching them, uninfluenced by any of the theatrical promotion or TV exposure they had in the past. That says a lot for what attracts Lewis fans -- the films are like cartoons (no accident) and there is something beguiling about both sides of his persona (the Spongebob-like "LAAAY-DEE!!" loony Jerry and the Tow-tal Film May-kuh Jerry).

The kids are very much aware of the fascinating contradictions, not only in Lewis himself, but even in his film characters, who are alternately unglued and valiant.

Whatever one thinks of Lewis, it's hard to deny the scope of what he accomplished and how many have generously borrowed from his work to build their own careers.

Dick Cavett observed that most (not all) comedians live long lives. Some don't move comfortably from one era into another. Lewis was always polarizing to an extent, even in his heyday, but today's sideways-glancing PC corporate folks have got to be more nervous than ever about their various "brands" being attached to potential "incidents."

What they don't seem to realize is the obvious -- pushing Lewis away only fuels his relationship with the public and will eventually send the MDA Telethon into a minor cable limbo, if even that. Better to have him pass the baton than appearing to bop him with it in broad daylight.

And who ends up losing? Somehow I can't picture firemen at intersections, taking donations in boots, for "Nigel's Kids."

john brown said...

Forget the show for a minute, think of all the firefighters with the roadblocks doing their fill the boot collections. All the kids doing car washes and donating the money to Jerry's Kids.

The local stations doing cut-ins and updating their local tote board.

For the kids who suffered from this disease, Labor Day weekend had to be a time for hope. One big group hug from the entire country.

Sad weekend.

Baylink said...

> And who ends up losing? Somehow I can't picture firemen at intersections, taking donations in boots, for "Nigel's Kids."

For what it's worth, firefighters with boots collecting for MDA stick out a mile, and they are the *only* people I will give money to in traffic. And I tell them that, too. I don't expect that will change, just because MDA screwed the pooch.

Michael said...

In Las Vegas, we had a wonderful reporter/columnist named Ned Day who broke most of the stories about the mob that made up the made-up movie Casino (great filmmaking, terrible and dishonest history). Every Labor Day weekend, Ned made it a point to do a column ripping Jerry, on some of the grounds Ken mentioned, mainly for it being called "The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon."

Now, that said, Jerry has given more time and money to his cause than any celebrity (or maybe non-celebrity) I can think of in the years he has been hosting that telethon. Whatever happened, the MDA is not where it is without him.

A note about Jerry the comic. His idol was Stan Laurel, and when he had a short-lived variety show, he offered Laurel money just to read the scripts and comment--he thought that much of him. Laurel said no because, as he put it, they did different kinds of comedy and he wouldn't be able to give good advice. But anyone who realized that Stan Laurel was the greatest comic genius of his time (and maybe any other) is fine with me.

Doktor Frank Doe said...

The MDA headquarters building is in Tucson about a mile from where I grew up. There's an arrogance with that organization one cannot believe. When it was built the CEO's office had to be completely re-engineered at a cost of about 200k "because he could hear his private toilet flush off in the distance" if someone else used it.

The place is like a billion-dollar mansion with exquisite furnishings, art, views of the city and mountains and certainly NOT what I thought I was working for as a child back in the sixties when I held the neighborhood Jerry Lewis carnivals in a kit for all the kids in wheelchairs and leg-braces that truly needed our "help". Bullshit!

This organization is full of itself beyond belief and with that building having JUST this year gone through yet another multi-multi-million dollar remodel and rehab to keep the egos of the criminals running the place stoked and and satisfied, can you really now be surprised by the manner of which Jerry was treated? I'm sure as hell not. Another great Tribute Ken, Jerry deserves more than he'll ever get.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

My love for this spectacle goes back to the Americana Hotel when the telethon was still just a New York phenom, carried yearly by WNEW-TV. Back then, they'd recycle the live audience every hour, and every hour, Jerry would carry a bucket into the crowd and collect as much cash as he could badger them into. There were separate phone numbers for each borough and each outlying county. The first year they ever hit a million dollars, the toteboard still had just 6 digits. Jerry ran up to it with a bucket of paint and a brush to paint a huge "1" right on the board. The stars of New York radio and TV were the entertainment (and since the Tonight Show was still done in NYC, Ed McMahon lent his time when William B Williams needed a nap as announcer). The final three hours were ALWAYS must see TV as Jerry lost his composure. Great times.

Mary Stella said...

When I was a kid, I always watched the annual telethon. I can't count the number of times my heart soared and Jerry and Ed McMahon announced the latest, phenomenal total.

A few memorable Labor Day Weekends I made lemonade and then slogged the beach to sell it for fundraising. I was so proud to do something for Jerry's Kids.

Jerry gave a voice and face to the needs of the kids with MD. For that alone, he should have been given a terrific send-off.

Jen said...

"One minute dripping sincerity, the next crossing his eyes and acting like a retard."

Would be better written as "...the next crossing his eyes and acting like Derpy Hooves."

Seriously though, I agree "retard" and "retarded" need to be retired as insults as much as "gay" does.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Since I'm a retard, I don't see anything wrong with using that word.

Jerry is wonderful. I don't care if he spent the whole telethon drooling on his shirt and cursing at the toteboard, he deserves the spotlight. MDA management be hanged.

Bob Summers said...

I think it gets down to they are too cheap to buy the time and don't want to show the schmaltz anymore.

Maybe they are worried they will be embarrassed at the take they plan to get during a bad economy. That way they can blame that if it's low.

Andy Ihnatko said...

I had a surprisingly sad realization while watching the telethon a couple of years ago. 90 minutes into the telethon, a time when (as a kid) they would have been using their Sunday night, prime-time, maximum viewership hour showcasing huge stars and powerful legends...they had on some kind of Vegas puppet act.

The "star" (who mainly did mediocre celebrity impressions while wearing a puppet on his hand, as opposed to actually puppeteering) had won some sort of reality show.

A few years ago.

And he was on tape, not live.

It's kind of sad to see something that was once great grind slowly down. For many generations, it's like seeing the playground you used to play in every day as a kid just rust and decay and partially-collapse and get overgrown with weeds. It'd be great if it were maintained and updated to remain viable. If it were ripped apart and turned into a parking lot, at least it could go away with a little dignity.

Ed from SFV said...

Good on you for using "retard" when writing an ode to Jerry. He would use the term and dare you to think ill of him.

Back in the day, Jerry was appearing in Boston. He heard about my friend's Dad who had a brain tumor and did not have very long to live. Jerry insisted that he and his family come join him for dinner at a swanky joint and for one evening, they family "Smiled."

Genius rarely well accepts filters. If Jerry's sins were being outrageous with production and in using "shocking" words, so freaking what?

We have all lost an inspiring icon. Per usual, we have met the enemy and he is us.

Phillip B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phillip B said...

Martin Short did a devastating and almost cruel imitation of the aged Jerry Lewis. It was then more than weird (but somehow fitting) to see him recruited as the "back up host" a few years ago when Jerry was having health problems. But he was the perfect choice.

The telethon was an enormous piece of popular culture and a monument to the excessive smarminess of the entertainment industry. Jerry actually did introduce people as "my closest friend in show business for the last 40 years."

But somehow the smarminess transferred to the entire culture as well - the corporate execs who were as thrilled as the working class fire fighters to show up to present the big checks; the scientists and doctors who were coached to explain their work in the most tear jerking way; and the poster children and their families who became willing part of a freak show which anticipated the additive nature of contemporary reality TV.

And it was all spell-binding, especially when I was 12.

They are going to have to pay tribute to Jerry at some during the six hours. It would be easier for MDA if he were dead, of course - and they may have to pretend that he is to explain the transition.

TerriC said...

I had the pleasure of working with Jerry Lewis on "Wiseguy." The first movie I ever saw starred Lewis. I was very young, in my pajamas, at the drive-in with my Dad, so this was a meaningful experience for me. I distinctly remember having a conversation with him about the telethon -- just Jerry and me, sitting in the back seat of a car whisking us to a satellite interview in the wee hours. He spoke with passion, deep emotion, and a raw honesty about how much finding a cure meant to him. He was a pleasure to deal with, a serious man under all the slapstick. But yet, first day on the set, he charmed the crew by being the "Hey Lady Person" Jerry. What MDAA has done is disgraceful. I don't care what Lewis did to tick them off. They owed him respect.

D. McEwan said...

"Once upon the time the Jerry Lewis telethon was a highlight of the year."

When was that? Because I don't remember Jerry Lewis ever being the highlight of anything. I have never watched his telethon, ever, not for five minutes 40 years ago. Too much danger of actually seeing Jerry Lewis. It wasn't until I was in my late 40s that I even met anyone who claimed that watching it every year was a tradition for him. I remember being shocked, and asking why he watched it. He mumbled words like "Tony Orlando" as though the name Tony Orlando was an inducement to watch something rather than the reverse.

I really do not get it.

I will say this for Jerry, he turned out to be a hell of a good dramatic actor. His work in Scorsese's King of Comedy and on the TV series Wiseguy was brilliant, believable, and effective. But Jerry in comedy, or worst of all, Jerry unscripted: torture one avoids.

Paul Duca said...

Then what is your take on Lewis' lost film, Doug?

You know...THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED--while entertaining children at Auschwitz?

Bob Morgan said...

Ken, you and I worked together at TEN-Q and I've always admired your success. Your words about Jerry and the telethon are superb. Thanks you for expressing what so many of us feel.

Michael Hagerty, Founder/Editor said...

Cutting the telethon down to six hours isn't something MDA wants to do...but it's become nearly impossible to find TV stations willing to give up 20 hours of revenue from commercials and infomercials. As a former local station programmer, I can tell you that 6 hours will be a tough sell in years to come. We may be on the eve of the one-hour telethon.

Jerry, love him or hate him, deserves a big farewell. It won't surprise me if MDA uses "time constraints" as an excuse to not mention him at all.

cadavra said...

I understand the need to move on, but to deny him a final farewell is the height of heartlessness. Jerry was THE comedian of our (baby boomers) generation, and whatever his faults, he deserves a helluva lot better than this.

Mort Sahl used to tell a lengthy, shaggy-dog joke about the Telethon; the punchline was that Dr. Teitelbaum knocks on Jerry's door and announces, "I'VE FOUND THE CURE!"

And Jerry kills him.

l.a.guy said...

Once upon a time I worked on the MDA Telethon back when it was still in Las Vegas. During my brief time there I don't recall hearing any damning stories of Lewis being difficult (which doesn't mean he wasn't, but apparently they weren't notorious enough to make it to the crew). The thing I remember most about the shows is the segments they would run highlighting a kid suffering from MD. In hours 1-4 if you weren't reaching for a Kleenex by the end of the segment you don't have a heart, by hour 20 sympathy fatigue sets in and you become a little more indifferent to their fate.

In any case Jerry did raise a ton of money for a good cause which is more than most of us can say.

By the way, I believe Nigel is only one of four hosts, but he will bring a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and imagination to the event. I think they're actually lucky to get him.

Cap'n Bob said...

I was never a big Jerry Lewis fan, though he had his moments. I've always regarded the telethon as an angstfest and watched as little as possible. We older folks recall that when we had only 6 or 7 stations, losing one was a big deal.
I worked with a guy who swore that Jerry Lewis made a huge paycheck from hosting the yearly telethon. Anyone hear about this?

doug Dalrymple said...

Doug Dalrymple: I think it a little sad that this was the way to sever ties. The format was getting a little old but the most killing blow was not Jerry but Ed's passing. Ed kept Jerry in check and help the circus to continue. The fact that some local programming was shown instead of the national one helped and hurt the telethon. Our local stuff in St Louis was actually better than some of the really late night stuff on stage at Vegas. We had a crew here that was very dedicated to the cause, but that does not mean it was also very good either. Dropping it too six hours does not sound like a good idea as in broadcast TV sometimes the only thing worth watching late at night was the telethon which meant you had people going out to drop off donations or calling in the late night hours. Unfortunately with the rise of cable and satalite tv there is more available stations and programming to watch. Even with broadcast Tv here in St. Louis we now have extra stations to watch(Antenna TV, Me TV, Create, World, This and even Living Well) so the telethon loses it charm at 3 AM. Even more disappointing is MDA's success itself, because after all the research and all the money and all the we almost have the cure found pleas, we are so close and yet so far away. It is a shame. Even moreso with the unceremonius exit of Jerry. I know he was a pain in the B*** and made goofs, but I do think he was sincere. I do not see how he made anything off of it, except for the fact at least here it was called the Jerry lewis MDA telethon. I am assuming it has a new name like everything else this year.

Charlie said...

You're a retard! What are you? A palsy? You're retarded. You stupid moron. You Mongoloid idiot. You faggot. You're a fag. These phrases conjure up a gentle more innocent time for all boomers who argued with their sisters and brothers and friends in bedrooms, hallways and school yards in the 50s and 60s. Ken's use of the word retard was an affectionate description of Jerry, the self described monkey (sans the organ grinder), FOR ALL YOU MORONS WHO DIDN'T GET IT!!!!! Oh, I'm sooo sorry you were offended, you stupid jerks.
PS. Who would want to aspire to be a "paragon of political correctioness" (all together) "A MORON!"

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

"No comedian has ever taken himself more seriously, and in an unintentional twisted way, that only made him funnier."

I was going to say, "What about William Shatner?" Then just as I was about to click PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT it dawned on me that unlike Jerry Lewis, Shatner doesn't know he's a comedian.

Bobby Rich said...

Our co-owned ABC affiliate has been told that Jerry will appear in one final (finale) segment. Probably singing You'll Never Walk Alone.

HogsAteMySister said...

Nice tribute. But in truth, really, Jerry should have opted out a long time ago. You know?

jbryant said...

Shatner was intentionally hilarious on BOSTON LEGAL, in my opinion.

As for the telethon, I prefer the Jerry Lewis of movies and interviews (with his highly original cadences and turns of phrase), so I tended not to watch more than an hour or two (and not at all in recent years).

TerriC: Great anecdote, and how cool that you got to work with him on that excellent run of episodes.

Dan in Missouri said...

I grew up in New York and like another person on this forum can remember when the telethon was on WNEW-TV. I swear, in the early sixties, that I remember Lewis asking the station for more time so that he could reach a million dollars.

Lewis first committed himself to MDA in the 1950's when he and Dean Martin were the biggest act around. Huge stars of nightclubs, TV, radio and movies. He didn't need to do it.
Lewis has stayed committed to the cause and has not only raised money for MDA but raised the awareness of the various related diseases.
As others have stated he brought together business groups, individuals and local community groups who raised money all year long with the hopes of making an appearance on at least the local telethon.
I think that nearly every person knows someone who has been helped by the MDA - adults, children and family.
Lewis has stuck by MDA through professional personal highs and lows.
He deserves better.
Dan

D. McEwan said...

"Paul Duca said...
Then what is your take on Lewis' lost film, Doug?

You know...THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED--while entertaining children at Auschwitz?"


Is it "lost" or was it, as most critics suggested when it came out, hidden or destroyed, or just languishing because no one is idiot enough to release it?

You can't really imagine I've seen it. I skipped Roberto Begnini's clown-makes-kids-laugh-on-their way-to-Death-Camp-extermination movie, Life is Beautiful also. Begnini is the Italian Jerry Lewis, and I've avoided his movies as scrupulously as I avoid Jerry's. When a clown decides to wring tears by making the kids at Dachau have a giggle on the way to the showers, we know they have arrived in "I'm a Clown-Saint" Land.

D. McEwan said...

Mark Evanier, on his blog this weekend (Which I know a lot of the regular readers here also read) posted a piece on Jerry and the telethon, including an anecdote on why he (Mark) turned down a job writing for it one year. You can read Mark's entire peice over on his blog, but I wanted to include this tiny extract from it here. Remember, this is Evanier writing, not me:

Another thing that scared me was Jerry. I'd worked with him a few months earlier and when I mentioned that to the MDA fellow, he asked, "How'd the two of you get along?" I said, "Well enough, especially after he realized that I could name every one of his movies. But he did strike me as rather — shall we say? — thin-skinned."

The MDA official corrected me. He said, "Jerry is not thin-skinned. He's no-skinned. He does all this material ridiculing other people and then he gives interviews where he attacks people he's mad at. But if you tell him you don't like his tie, he acts like you kicked him in the stomach."

Anonymous said...

D: Since you haven't seen LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, it's perhaps not surprising that you've mischaracterized it. Of course, actually seeing it didn't prevent many critics from doing the same.

Benigni's character, Guido, is not a clown (not literally, at least). He's a waiter who hopes to open a bookstore. SPOILERS: When he and his four-year-old son are placed in a concentration camp, Guido does everything he can to keep the true nature of the situation from the boy -- you know, as opposed to succumbing to despair and allowing what may be the boy's last days on earth to be filled with incomprehensible misery. When Americans liberate the camp, the boy is saved, but Guido has already been shot by a Nazi guard. The story is narrated by the now-grown son, who realizes the heroic lengths his father went to in order to protect his innocence and give him a chance to survive.

One can like or dislike the film, of course, but much of the hate seems to stem from a complete misreading of the film's intent. Some seem to think it finds humor in the Holocaust, but that's simply not true. It shows one man using humor to distract an innocent boy from a horrific situation he would never be able to understand, so that his presumable final days will be joyful rather than miserable.

jbryant said...

Sorry, the above LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL post is mine. Didn't mean to post anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Very nice tribute, Ken. I'm not a big Jerry Lewis fan, but I have a great deal of respect for what he has done professionaly and for MDA.

Considering his comments about American Idol and various other things, I can almost understand why MDA did what they did. His health is in terrible shape and with Ed gone, its not the same. But it can be reimagined with someone. I would hate for it to disappear altogether. That would almost erase all of Jerry's work.

And am I the only one that was really pissed at the Academy for waiting until 2009 to give him the Hersholt award. It was simply, utterly shamefull that they waited that long.

Pam aka SisterZip

D. McEwan said...

JB, your description of LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL is pretty much what
I got from reading the reviews at the time. I believe I'd rather have a root canal without anesthetic than sit through it. And it's still a doomed man clowning to cheer up a kid in a death camp, and not just any man, the unbearable Roberto Begnini, and I still can not imagine being masochistic enough to want to see such a thing. And it's still a comedian who is taking himself way too seriously.

Anonymous said...

MDA had enough of Jerry Lewis, and I'm sure that Jerry like many famous people has a huge ego and may be hard to get along with. That said, he has dedicated 50+ year to a cause and raised over $1Billion for MDA. Jerry deserves a grand send off. A tribute worthy of a true icon. MDA, please give the man his due. Not doing so will only hurt Jerry's kids which is the reason people give to MDA in the first place.

jackscribe said...

This tripped my memory. In 1987, I was a newly-minted VP of Operations for Caesars Palace and arrived one week before the telethon. In those years, the broadcast originated from Caesars Sports Pavilion. What an eye-popping treat to have an all-access pass to all the activities in every area backstage. Quite an experience cruising through the VIP lounge.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of what we see on television died when it became "Reactionary". Ed Sullivan was a spotlight for the dish twirlers and comedians of that era. What made his show great was the fact that he wasn't critical of any act. Then, Letterman came along and comedy shifted to where he would get the bigger laugh from his response or comeback. There was almost a sense of humiliation in spotlighting someone's talent. I think it killed a lot of Vaudeville, or what remnant remained. Why do something if your host is going to basically make fun and eventually slam you.

Melissa McCartney said...

I am 26 years old and I have watched Jerry and the telethon my entire life as has the rest of my family dating back to my great grandparents. I am utterly offended that the MDA would so brazenly toss to the side the man who basically built this foundation, raised countless millions of dollars, and put more blood sweat and tears into helping these families than probably anyone. @Dave Williams, I agree with you that it is a shame younger people today don't know about Dean and Jerry. I was fortunate enough to have family members who showed me who they were and I fell in love with it. I have been volunteering my time and money to the MDA for years now, and sadly this year I will not. REINSTATE JERRY!!!!! His kids need him!

Greg S. said...

I suspect you spelled out the problem yourself. In Jerry's case "with dignity" and "on his own terms" were probably mutually exclusive.

USCMD said...

Jerry Lewis is/was a no talent hack. While its true, that he generously gave time to MDA, it wasn't all one sided.If not for appearing on television yearly Mr Lewis would have faded into obscurity with other comics whose best work was 40-50 years ago.

Some day the truth will come out, and I'd be willing to bet money that theres a substantive reason why JL was forced out. Big organizations exist for the status quo. Very rarely do they muster the energy for change without ample provocation. Small change, small impetus. Big changes require big events to set them in motion. No one believes JL was ousted on a whim. More likely, he committed a Mel Gibson or Micheal Richards level faux pas. It will be a real beaut.

Until the facts are known lets try our hardest not to lionize a has been. After all his biggest fans are the french, and whens the last time they were right about anything?

If my life depended on guessing what JL did, I'd guess it'd contain statements along the lines of "honest, she told me she was 21." Or "I was told they were simply vitamin shots." We'll see.

Dr. Stephen Levy said...

Why wasn't Tony Orlando hosting the NY portion of this year's MDA telethon? He gave his all for many, many years and his great talent and sincerity was sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Some say Jerry Lewis is/was an a.., you USCMD surely are. Jerry Lewis is an American Icon for crying out loud. Bosses at MDA are obviously heartless, brainless hacks. Surely this will be the last telethon, Mr. Lewis was the only reason I still watched. I'm just sorry for the kids.

LoveOldStuff said...

I'm 18. And although Jerry was getting older and I never really knew him as Jerry's MDA telethon. I miss him. I love Martin and Lewis. They shouldn't have done it...stupid move. All the kids I know, that's the only way they'd ever know about MDA program...plus, uh what's the name of the other guy? Seriously??? I seriously don't know who he is.

Anonymous said...

anonymous I will never again give to the MDA