Jerry Lewis is no longer MDA's national chairman

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis, 85, has completed his run as the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s national chairman, according to a release from the MDA. Lewis, who had still been slated to appear at this September’s event and sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” for the last time.

Last week at the TCA Press Tour, Lewis was cryptic about his future involvement with the telethon, telling reporters, “It’s none of your business.” During that discussion, he also slammed reality TV shows like American Idol and The Biggest Loser. Oddly enough: American Idol producer Nigel Lythoe and Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney were slated to cohost this year’s telethon.


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  • nickp

    How do you have a Jerry Lewis Telethon without Jerry Lewis

    • Jerry

      Stop asking me for Pete’s sake. Quit bothering me damn it.

      • KC

        When I was a dumb kid, I used to hate this telethon because it would interrupt my Saturday morning cartoons. I hated Jerry Lewis because of this.
        Older and a little bit more mature, I think it’s still a great cause.

      • Deanna

        I have grown up watching the telethon and remember when we would go out door to door collecting for the MDA. My family would sit up all night ( or try to ) and watch this I loved Jerry and all he has done for the kids. To Mr. Lewis Take care of your self you are very loved in my family. My children love to watch your shows and movies on DVD. I have always thought of you as a great man and always will. Good luck you and my you health keep in the good for you to enjoy.

      • Bosco

        Sorry Jerry; you raised gazillions, you should be richly complemented. Too bad no one was cured.

      • ChristineG3

        Ha! So funny!

      • nanail08

        I am beautiful woman and I love good man…..inter racial romance is my dream… so I joined
        —- Hotβlαckwhitе.СòM—–it’s where to- connect with beautiful and excellent people! Maybe you wanna ch’eck it out or tell your friends.

        Rodney, honey, your caps-lock is on. When you do that, it looks like you’re yelling at us.

      • Anita

        Thanks Jerry Lewis. I grew up watching you and I will miss seeing you. You do a real good thing.
        My Mom was very Newark also.
        Good Luck to you and stay well!!!

      • Mary

        I love Jerry Lewis and have since I was a kid. I agree how can it be the MDA telethon without him. But he has done so much for that cause, and he is getting older. Mr. Lewis, you will be missed by millions. Much respect and admiration sir.

      • JakeT

        KC, no offense but you REALLY must have been a dumb kid ’cause I don’t understand how the telethon could have ever interrupted your Saturday morning cartoons when the telethon has always aired live beginning early SUNDAY EVENING and going until approx 6PM the next day (Labor Day Monday). Just what channel were you watching anyway?

    • Lyndsey

      You have the telethon for people like my 7 year old son who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy..that’s how!

      • MIKE

        WRONG!!!! JERRY LEWIS IS ON MY TV ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!! END OF STORY!

      • ChristineG3

        I used the love watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon as a child, even though it signified the end of summer. I would love to know exactly how much money he has raised for such those beautiful children and adults. Great job Mr. Lewis. You will be missed.

      • margaret

        I watched Jerry for years. I even worked at telethons for many years. The MDA never did a darn thing for my brother who has MD. No matter how many calls were made, or how much we needed help. MDA was not there. A big disapointment . I’m happy for those who were able to get some help, but in my eyes, they were useless. I’d like to have a say with Jerry.

      • Ron Morgan

        Yes, it is a slap in the face to Jerry and the his “KIDS”, however, I am trying to get the word out among people, to donate in spite of the MDA firing Jerry Lewis, that the “KIDS” should not suffer for their outrageous decision!!! Please donate in the name of Jerry Lewis, that will send a very strong message to MDA what a bad mistake they made, in addition, a tribute to Jerry Lewis and his “KIDS”!!

    • rodney

      THANK YOU MR.JERRY LEWIS!!!
      FOR YOUR STRAIGHTFORWARD TALK ABOUT HAVING ONE OF THOSE SILLY SHOWS TAKING ON SUCH A GRAND BIG FETE AS YOU HAVE TAKEN. HONESTLY IT SEEMS VERY–WEIRD OR TRASHY GIVING IT TO SOMEONE WITH SUCH LITTLE CARE OR RIDICULOUSLY LOW MORALS JUST TO BE NOTED IN SUCH TRASHY MANNERS. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR CAUSE WAS ALWAYS FOR THE BENEFIT OF HUMANITY…THANK YOU
      ONCE AGAIN FOR SHOWING US ALL WHAT TRUE MORALITY WITH RESPECT IS.
      A FRIEND ALWAYS RODNEY D.

      • jp

        Rodney, honey, your caps-lock is on. When you do that, it looks like you’re yelling at us.

      • Pop Vulture

        Jerry Lewis is no pantheon of morality.

      • GerriDavid

        rodney…Do not worry what “jp” says…you write with your cap lock on if you want to. The “yelling” part is just pop culture bulls***. It is easier to read in caps.

      • Sue1

        No, Rodney, listen to jp. If you want people to actually read your comment all the way through, and take it seriously, you’ll lose the caps.

      • chris henning

        SO TRUE !!!!!!!

      • BOTH SIDES

        caps does not help my hearing . i’m still hard of hearing either way. but caps does help my eyesight. I can read in caps easier so leave them on . I still love ya

    • chris henning

      I agree, I have watched this telethon since I was a kid, Jerry gave his life for MDA and no matter what,he was there and now this … He should be on this telethon to sing his swan song one last time !!!!!

    • Kay

      I love Jerry Lewis. My best wishes to him and his family. Thank you, Jerry, for a lifetime of love and kindness.

      • francis broderick

        Thank You Jerry For all the work and time & Money you got for the telethon and for your kids.They will always say there Uncle Jerry did this for us. And now they throw me under the bus.I also grew up with you and Uncle Ed

    • Timothy Schulz

      Jerry you are a icon to me I grew up watching you and Ed every Laborday with out we all will mis you thanks for the memories with lot of love

      • Paula

        by the unique tcbminaoion of powerful voices from a father and his 18 year old son. a0Recently, The Keatings performed on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and in February, 2010 they made their debut appearance on a world-class Crystal Cruise Lines

      • Rih

        got up early this am for the run, and was shooting for the S&C this eroafnotn (which didn’t materialize). Really feeling the affects of having little sleep with sick kids, and starting to get sick myself.Rd’s 1+2: 10.5mph/1% incline = 3:33/3:34Rd3: is where I lost it and totally bonked, had to back off the 10.5. kept the incline @ 1% though 4:05Rd 4+5: 9mph/1% incline = 4:08.Bringing the bike to work tomorrow with the trainer. Will try to get the S&C from today done tomorrow as well.joey

    • Judi Blatchley

      I step lightly here for the sake of all of us who saw many sides of the man, some more unpleasant than others. His heart was in the right place, but he began to develop what seemed like a complex when people did not contribute enough. (He decided if it was enough). He also exhibited being more important than others if his whims were not met. The organization did a wise move by getting another host, and I hope for all who struggle that someday a cure is found. I will even watch again now, because the site of his getting soused on national TV turned me off each year. Not watching never kept us from contributing, but his public display of annebriation kept us from watching it!

      • Steve Sublett

        I just wanted to address Ms. Blatchley’s unfortunate comments about Mr. Lewis being “soused” and his “public display of annebriation’. I think she is missing the fact that Mr. Lewis stayed up a lot of those hours of the telethon w/o a break. Does sleep deprivation come to mind? Also he had severe pain w/ his back & has been on pain meds for quite some time. So, to paraphrase, don’t criticize someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

      • Judi Blatchley

        Steven, I do understand that he had pain and that the telethon was long and laborious, but the fact is that he got drunk on his shows as well as Dean Martin. I have family who worked with him on the telethons, and I had a personal encounter with him at a walkathon when he became inebriated. There are other people who do 24 hour marathons who stay sober, who do them sitting down, but the last few years of my watching it was NOT like when it first started. When it first started he THANKED people for all their donations… when I quit watching he was drunk by the end and yelling at those who did not donate. Don’t get me wrong, MD is a horrible disease – I know because I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder which has components of 8 different autoimmune disorders… I support the victims, but reject the alcoholism displayed, and the behaviours I saw at the walkathon.

    • More Faith

      I dont understand this is for people that has MDA. Despite if Jerry is gone, he’ll always be a well respected man in my eyes. My brother has ducheene and we always watched Jerry on his movies, shows, or every year MDA. We used to think that one day he would call us on his show. The show been about funding for the disease and Jerry made it known. Give the man respect he deserves and move on its still a fight for people out there. Jerry live long stay strong, can’t nobody take a good deed. God gave u ways to accept life itself. My family always have, more faith less drama.

  • Joe Koniar

    After all the years and money Jerry brought in to MDA, they then don’t let him do the last shortned telethon. How awful and I am sure no one will watch or contribute. Too bad this will all effect “Jerry’s Kids” in the end. Bad news MDA.

    • john

      I do not think it was Mda’s decision. It was Jerry’s.

      • Jerry

        how about a knuckle sandwich and stop bugging me

      • jannie

        Jerry is well into his 80’s and has had numerous medical problems. I am sure it is his decision to end his appearances. He has put in decades to raising money….he deserves to hand over the torch.

      • Sad

        No…this reeks of corporate interference. Jerry had planned to be at this year’s telethon before he retires. If he wanted to step down right now for some reason, he would have told everyone. MDA is the one announcing he won’t be there. Such a sad thing it is to kick someone to the curb who basically WAS the organization. Without him, they wouldn’t have made the money they have and helped so many people deal with their illness. I had a family member with MD. He got so much help and support from them.

  • fay kaiser

    WHO CARES WHAT JERRY LEWIS THINKS……..HIS EGO IS SO BIG I WISH HIS HEAD WOULD EXPLODE….DEAN MARTIN HAD ALL THE TALENT..

    • mikeb

      Dean was the straight guy to Jerry. I’ve seen all their movies and read all the bios. Both had talent, both had egos. It’s sad that Jerry won’t be there for 2011.

      • Karen

        Anyone in “showbiz” has an ego…Jerry Lewis is no exception. I will miss seeing his face every year but I’m sure his health is an issue in this and “they” probably want a larger audience now as well.
        THANK YOU JERRY for ALL you have done for the kids…and adults…afflicted with MD. You brought many smiles to many faces and introduced us all to some incredible people.
        There is a special place in Heaven for you !

    • Vince

      You’re an idiot they both were great

    • Lyndsey

      You obviously don’t have a child with MD.

    • gibbyswife

      Dean Martin didn’t sit up all day and night to get money to help kids and adults with MD etc. He loved all those kids. That was an ignorant thing to say. This isn’t about the best singer or comedian. This is to save lives.

    • Kathy

      Dean Martin was nothing but a Drunk, if not for Jerry Lewis he would have bombed out sooner than he did.

      • c.c.

        Believe it or not, Dean Martin didn’t drink that much! It wasn’t scotch in his glass, it was apple juice. It was an act!

    • Phil

      Jerry was the writer of their “act”.

    • madcow1

      I agree this guy is a jerk, he has no talent, without this gig he would have been forgotten years ago. Martin was truely the gifted one and was smart to dump Lewis.

    • Geek

      Read the bio’s and watch interviews. Jerry Lewis is very narcissistic. He is supposed to be a genius. In France. He made a few stupid comedies in the 60’s and nothing of note since. I watched an interview with him on A & E and he was so full of himself, it made you sick. I never saw Dean Martin in interviews and print act like that. Lewis is a Prima Donna and to say to the press “None of you Business” just proves it.

    • DParker

      If the truth were known, deep down inside Jerry is a ters,insulting,crass little Jew sucker. Dean Martin couldn’t stand him. He gets credit for his MDA effort, and that’s all.

      • Andrea

        So we are also antisemitic

    • Tim W

      And what have you done for humanity for the past 50+ years?

  • Frank Angulo

    wtf fay

  • Rob V

    I have Muscular Dystrophy and I struggle everyday of my life. I am very offended by your comments. The Money raised by the telethon helps family’s affected by MD live, by paying for stuff like wheelchairs, other medical devices, ramps, elevators, medications, RESEARCH TO FIND A CURE, to send kids that rarely get out of the house to camp and much more…So HOW DARE you sit there and TELL ME that because JERRY LEWIS (who doesn’t live with any life threatening condition) might not be at the telethon so people wont or shouldn’t donate?? GIVE ME A BREAK..if anything people should give more and more to help each and every person affected by this Horrible and devastating disease!!

    DONATE TO SAVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE THAT ARE CLOSE TO DYING, ITS A MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TELETHON NOT A JERRY LEWIS TELETHON…GET IT RIGHT!!!!!! he just happens to care enough to help raise money

    Just thank God you don’t have to wish every single day for a cure!

    • Amber

      Rob, I also have MD. I am insulted by your comment that people with MD rarely get out of their house. There is more to life with a disability than having self pity, being depressed, and only focusing on the possibility of dying one day and I hope you eventually realize that. Lewis has raised a lot of money, but by portraying people with disabilities as depressing, pathetic charity cases (which obviously you have internalized) which has done more harm to people with disabilities than good. Views on disability have changed in the last 60 years, but unfortunately Lewis’s views are as outdated as his jokes.

      • Melissa

        “to send kids that rarely get out of the house to camp and much more”

        Apparently you need to learn how to read a full sentence. I think you are the one internalizing!

      • jimbo

        Amber, I think Rob V is right, and you are wrong.

      • Devin “Badass Digest” Faraci

        Jimbo, I think Stinko is right and Bobbo is wrong.

      • Tony

        What Melissa said!!

      • VICK

        Amber- I too have dealt with MD with a close family member with ALS and in fact took daily care of him until his death. I am offended by you. Be offended by Jerry’s techniques all you want, but God forbid you be the least bit grateful that someone, ANYONE cared enough, lame jokes or representations of disabilities aside, to raise so much money to help people like you and my brother and countless others. He is also a product of his age and upbringing, where disabilities WERE looked at very differently but don’t bother to take that into consideration. And if the pity factor (which I get no one wants until or unless it benefits them monetarily) raises that money, then Jerry Lewis did what he considered his job for decades. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • teresa

        I think you are right, Amber, You have nothing to be ashamed about.

      • oh-no

        cripple fight

      • Lou

        It is incorrect to assume people with the same disease all travel the same journey. My cousin had MD (ALS) and rarely did get out of the house. There were so many limitations to it as well as the delicacy of his condition. We were all grateful to MDA and Jerry Lewis for all they did for him. Despite not wanting something to be depressing, when people die of a disease, it is depressing. When people die of anything, it is depressing. It is always good to hope, but acting like MD is a walk in the park is extremely ignorant.

      • D

        I understand how you feel. However, I didn’t see Jerry as portraying those afflicted with MD as pathetic. I think he wanted the people to see what it was like for families and patients and show that whatever you give helps. I did not see him as showing anyone as pathetic. I do think MDA is totally wrong in dismissing him no matter what the problems behind the scenes. Where would you be without all his efforts? Think about that.

    • Tony

      Obviously, Melissa didn’t read your message correctly, but it seems that you did not read Joe Koniar’s message correctly either! All Joe said was, “How awful and I am sure no one will watch or contribute.” He wasn’t recommending that people refuse to watch the show, he just pointed out his view, which I agree with, that many people, because they have so many years associating this cause with Mr. Lewis, will back off or choose not to watch and/or donate. It’s a fact, he’s like a brand and let’s not forget, he’s still a celebrity by industry standards and some people donate to causes based on which celebrity is backing it. Is it right? Of course not, but is it life? Of course it is! That’s why MOSTLY ALL causes use a celebrity’s face, voice, or image in some way shape or form. Will you and Melissa now make up? lol

      • Tony

        I meant AMBER! Sorry Melissa!

    • Joyce

      Rob V. ~ I’m sorry you have MD I really am, however, your comment that Jerry doesn’t have a life threatening illness is very incorrect. Jerry suffers with IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) which is indeed life threatening and has no cure and will eventually kill. I know about this disease all too well because my father also suffers from it. It saddens me that Jerry will no longer be with the telethon, but it worries me that his disease has quite possibly progressed to the point that he is unable to do the telethon. I doubt his involvement or lack thereof will affect most people who give to the MDA.

      • Rob V

        My point was that, Jerry Lewis has nothing wrong with him…people are not donating because he to has MD. People are not trying to cure his disease. This whole telethon is for kids and adults suffering from MD. And come on now, the guy is 85 years old and has had an amazing life with no limitations at all. I’d take that kind of disease in a heartbeat. It shouldn’t be called IPF. It should be called called OLD AGE lol LIFE THREATING?? at 85?? LOL

      • Rob V

        oh and btw I’m facing death everyday at 27

    • Becky

      I also have muscular dystrophy Cmt .this has made me sad that people can be so cruel you never know when you may or someone in your family may get muscular dystrophy ,After the years Jerry has given for this cause he should be at least welcomed an honored this year at the telethon.If you people lived with md everyday in pain you would apprceiate a man like him. show me another cause that has been dedicated by one man. for a cure like he has the telthon this year will be for me to honor Jerry an help the kids that have MD GOD BLESS you Jerry Lewis you wil always be my hero an thanks for all the help you an mda has given me.I am proud to keep the name a Jerrys kid

  • Zeke

    This will probably be the final airing of this telethon in its shortened form. Whether one likes this guy or not, he was the face of the MDA every Labor Day weekend.

  • Wayne

    Either Jerry got screwed or Jerry has been caught doing something bad. Either way, I have watched him for over 40 years and will miss the telethon.

    • Uncle Ray

      Seems like I heard some news report a few months back that Jerry made some kind of generalized comment regarding the future of telethons. Something to the effect that their time had come and gone and that a new format for a new generation needed to be developed.

      • Dandy Sue

        The new format for “telethons” will be concerts with text numbers to donate differing amounts posted big on screens and will reward the purchaser by posting his/her username and amount donated. Throughtout the concert, the band will urge donations and excite the crowd to a large total. The format will look for smaller amounts but more frequently. I hope MDA marketers are up on this, Jerry’s Kids deserve the time and money spent on providing help and driving for a cure.

    • Appalled

      You realize the man is 85 years old and has been dealing health issues. Have some compassion. To all the haters on here. I hope you stay healthy. What have you done for worthy causes such as MD.

      • maggie

        Yes, Jerry has been having health issues. In recent years he has cut back his time on the telecasts. It was only a matter of time before Jerry had to bow out. He’s done a great job at raising money, and should be proud of his legacy.

      • Tony

        Where has his compassion been hiding? In the vault next to the Holocaust comedy he directed and won’t let anyone see?

      • mary

        I have watched the Jerry Lewis telethon ever since I was a little girl and I just turned a young 58yrs. I missed Jerry this year. I contribute every year, not because of Jerry, but for a cure! The fact that Jerry Lewis has been passionate in this and has done so much to cheer us on in our giving says alot!! Jerry please come back!! To the rest of you, STOP BASHING!! This isn’t really about Jerry, it’s what he has done for the kids young and old! I’m in the nursing program at 58 yrs. young just so that I can take care of people. I’m a 15 yr. cancer survivor. My heart is for those with cancer because I have been there. I lost my kid siste 9 yrs. ago to Leukemia, and I volunteered for 5 yrs. on the oncology floor because of her and me. I have a passion for those going through cancer. Jerry Lewis has a passion!!!! Jerry if you see this, God bless you!!!! Come on people….stop and feel the presence of God!!
        God Bless you Jerry! I respect you so much!!
        God Bless, Mary Neal, Bay City, Michigan

    • Joe

      The telethon some years felt as if it lasted for 40 years.

    • Pop Vulture

      Caught doing something bad, like calling his gay son a f****** or saying women shouldn’t be comedians because they’re “production machines.” Hmm. Not sure where that all evens out; he’s done good for a lot of people, but he’s a hateful prick.

      • Pop Vulture

        Correction – he didn’t call his own son that, he called someone else’s son that. Just keeping my facts straight – sorry for the error.

  • john

    i think it all goes back to his health issues.

  • Jorge

    Having not watched/participated/found the man funny in years – this news is a big fat YAWN! No loss.

    • Jerry

      Jorge:
      You’re a schmuck. But have a nice day.

      • Dino

        That’s not a nice thing to say, BooBoo.

    • Tina

      what do you mean no big loss you cant possibly understand what he has done for people like Me and My family. and for you to be able to say this makes u a schmuck Hes human just like you and I the only difference is that he raised a TON of money to help those in need! what have you done thats even remotely good?

  • Kevin T. Baldwin

    No. There is definitely something wrong. To pull him out (or for the less likely, him dropping out) this close to air date there has to be something seriously wrong. Either Lewis is facing serious health (physical and/or mental) or there is something else going on in MDA land where they don’t feel they can trust what he will either say or do on stage. Not a good way to end a half-a-century long professional relationship. Both the man and the organization deserve better.

    • maggie

      He’s 85 and has health issues. There doesn’t have to be any other reason than that.

    • talkin’

      Not the first time one of his professional relationships has ended badly…

    • Hey Laaady

      Kevin T Baldwin – you are exactly correct. I am very close to this situation and you stated it correctly.

      • Mark

        you’re not close to ANY situation. You people are fools for trying to second guess why this happened. You’ll just have to wait until the day after the telethon when Jerry does his press conference…unless someone admits what happened before then.

    • madcow1

      I ithink it was his comment about smacking Lindsay Lohan in the face. Very Bad taste

  • Thomas

    I always thought Jerry had guts and passion. He was a straight shooter and didn’t heartfelt opinions. Plus, he is like a poster-boy for older American. His interview about Merv Griffen’s death was excellent

  • john

    My guess is that his health is likely not good.

  • alfred moya

    its about respect kids. this man has done more for others than any of you will ever achieve. you can call it whatever you want to but this many has singlehandedly changed the lives of 1000’s of people. His jokes are as old as he is and may any of you be blessed to reach that age and that level of servitude.

    • Dino

      Sorry, but if I get to be that unfeeling about women, gays and blacks, not to mention condescending towards all the kids he’s exploited along the way, I’d beg to have the plug pulled.

      And if he has changed millions of lives, where’s the cure?

      • Mark

        Dino…..why does there have to be a cure to change lives? If you went on MDAs website and did some research, you would discover that not that long ago, young people with certain forms of nero-muscular disease were lucky if they made it to their mid-teens. Now, it is not uncommon to see many people make it into their 30’s. If that were my son and daughter and I had an extra 15 to 20 years with them in my life, I would say that ours lives were definitely changed for the better. And you’re an idiot if you view his”kids” as being exploited. You’re dead wrong Dino.

  • stuey

    Jerry Lewis is alive? Dean Martin died, though – right?

    • Mark

      you’re such a moron stuey. I think you should go to a doctor and have your brain waves checked. I think they will determine that you and Dean are both brain dead.

    • Rick

      Well, you won’t be seeing him on any live shows in the near future if that’s what you mean.

  • Paul

    The part that is interesting is Jerry recently did an interview where talked negatively about reality TV shows such as American Idol and The Biggest Loser. People associated with those shows were scheduled to host this year’s telethon. After all those years Jerry gave to the MDA, they dumped him. That stinks.

    • Mark

      Paul…I don’t believe MDA would dump him for that reason. But if I find out that these new hosts had that kind of pull with MDA because they were offended by his comments…it will be the last dollar that MDA sees from me. Besides, reality TV really is nothing but mindless TRASH, so Jerry is only stating fact.

      • Valerie

        I have been watching the MDA telethon for years and I will still continue to donate, Jerry or not Jerry., the kids should not suffer and I know Jerry would never want that. However, whatever you think of Jerry Lewis, he has tirelessly raised money to help “his kids” and for that he deserves a proper sendoff, not this type of treatment. MDA is a corporation just like all the rest.

      • Beata

        Let’s face it, the reason why the MDA toltehen raised as much money as it did was because of Jerry Lewis. They will, unfortunately, have a very difficult time raising money, not only because of the economy but because of Jerry not being there any longer. Not a good move on MDA’s part.

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