Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis is out as host of this year's muscular dystrophy telethon.

In May, the 85-year-old comedian-filmmaker announced that the Sept. 4 show was going to be his last. But the Muscular Dystrophy Association abruptly and briefly announced Lewis would no longer be its national chairman — or be on the upcoming Labor Day fundraiser, as he has for some five decades.

Jerry Lewis stepping down from Labor Day telethon

Just last week, Lewis was funny — and cagey — about his future involvement with the annual program. As he promoted the upcoming Encore feature-length documentary Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, he refused to say what his role would be on the telethon this year until Sept. 5 — meaning after the show.

Is Jerry Lewis extending his telethon plans?

But any suspense was ended by MDA board Chairman R. Rodney Howell, who announced Lewis was out of two jobs while calling him "a world-class humanitarian."

"We will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman, and he will not be appearing on the telethon," Howell said.

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MDA reportedly will select a new host, who will join a quartet of co-hosts that includes entertainment personalities Nigel Lythgoe, Jann Carl, Alison Sweeney and Nancy O'Dell.

The telethon has been a fixture on TV viewers' calendars since 1966.