Never was the same without him
MDA ends Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon
For years, Labor Day wasn't just a day off from work. It meant it was time to watch the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon.
It was time to watch Jerry Lewis in action.
Now, it's truly the end of an era. The MDA announced today it's ending the tradition. No more telethon.
Lewis' reign was already over. That ended in 2010 when he parted company with MDA.
It was first hosted by Lewis and Dean Martin in 1956 from Carnegie Hall. After that, Lewis was named the organization's National chairman, a voluntary position he would hold for 55 years.
It became a weekend-long Labor Day telethon in 1966, usually kicking off Sunday night and running into Monday afternoon.
The telethon ran 21-and-a-half hours in 2010, Lewis' last year as host, and had dwindled to a two-hour show the last two years.
The telethon has raised more than $2 billion since its inception for MDA
[link to ri.search.yahoo.com
And it was thrilling to watch the numbers on the tote board ring up like a slot-machine jackpot as money poured in for the cause so near and dear to Lewis' heart. It became a personal endurance test for Lewis, who never said why he was so involved. He usually ended the event by singing You'll Never Walk Alone.