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Jerry Lewis To Retire From Labor Day Telethon

May 17, 2011

Labor Day will no long be the same without Jerry Lewis.

Comedian Jerry Lewis has announced he’s ending his 45-year run as host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, saying it’s “time for an all new telethon era.”

“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,’” Lewis said.

In an effort to boost viewership and income, this year’s telethon will be shortened to six hours — rather than the normal 21 and a half — and is scheduled for Sept. 4.

The annual telethons have raised more than $1 billion under the care of Lewis, 85, according to the AP. The comedian, who has been suffering from a back condition, said he’ll stay on as national MDA chairman.

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