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Remembering Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon

September 4, 2016

If you are like me than perhaps you too opened up the Sunday newspaper and noticed the Parade section did not have the face of a sweet child on its cover.  For so many years of my life the poster child for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon was front and center as a way to call attention to the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual telethon to raise money and awareness of the disease.  Watching the telethon was always a part of the Labor Day weekend as much as picnics and frolicking in the sunshine.

My deep respect for Jerry Lewis as a humanitarian is as strong now as ever.  His compassion and strong sense of making sure the world can be a better place tomorrow by the actions we take today remains his legacy.

With that said I want to take a few minutes of your time with the following classic memory of a telethon event from 1976.

  1. September 4, 2016 9:27 PM


    For sure. It was part of the Rat Pack type Vegas back-and-forth. This morning on the link which appears in this comment section is Lewis talking very candidly about his deep affections for Dean. Not in a gay context, but the closeness of the two allowed for slapstick and it certainly worked for comedic effect.

  2. September 4, 2016 5:03 PM

    I’m gonna get killed by my Italian friends back east… but is there just a slight homoerotic subtext here? Not that it matters, of course, but these were all archetypal macho tough guys. My gay buddy Tom would have laughed his ass off. (In addition to being gay, he was also a working-class Jersey Italian.)

  3. September 4, 2016 3:41 PM

    Thank you, Mark. For others to also share here is the link.

  4. Mark E. Bye permalink
    September 4, 2016 12:15 PM

    Excellent segment on CBS Sunday Morning this morning. Hope you got a chance to catch it.

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