Monday, September 7, 2009

Jerry Lewis Isn't Dead

Jerry Lewis Isn't Dead

Well, it's Labor Day and it's likely one of your local stations has deferred all of its scheduled programming to Jerry Lewis and his "Love Network" on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

When this comes on I have to call up my friends and family and convince them that Jerry Lewis is still alive. That's an easy mistake to make, especially since the show looks like it was filmed back in 1993. That's how low the production values of this marathon looks like and it's really tragic. And before some adolescent Irish dance troupe tests your will to stop watching and change the channel, take a moment to realize what this is all about.

By no means am I writing this to make fun of the cause Jerry Lewis has been championing against for the past 42 years. I would ask anyone that reads this at the very least donate a few bucks to MDA. I've chipped in a couple of bucks every year when I can. Unlike KCRW's pledge drive, this sucker only comes around once a year and it's for a good cause.

As much as this telethon itself is a good cause, the telethon itself hasn't aged well since its humble hay day at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas and this is primarily what I would like to talk about. The MDA telethon is stuck in a talent capsule that still clings to a brass ring that has long since been tarnished.

The MDA telethon used to bring out old school stars like Sinatra and Dean-o on stage to perform. Lately, as in the past 10 years, the talent pool has soured to C-list comedians like Elaine Boosler, Bob Zany and Ralphy May to the absurd like dance troops from an off-off broadway play no one should ever pay money to see. The pizazz of old Las Vegas is gone 'cept for the likes of Don "Mr Warmth" Rickles.

So far in this years MDA telethon, I missed the first 10 minutes when Jerry signed on but his co-hosts mentioned that unlike any other year Jerry is an Academy Award winner this year. I guess he won a Humanitarian Award at the last ceremony. Sure enough, Jerry comes into frame holding his Oscar. Then without fail he talked to this year's "Kid" and just put the Oscar onto his lap while chatting her up.

Last years donation total was $65,031,393 (+2.0%) and each previous year tote total has been beaten concurrently since 1966. So when you're in your drunken labor day stupor, remember a good cause.

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