The annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon wasted no time in offering a tribute to its longtime host, Jerry Lewis, and potentially defusing any backlash or disappointment with his absence.
Jerry Lewis won't host this year's telethon
After a dance performance opened the show, Lewis' replacements — Nigel Lythgoe, Jann Carl, Alison Sweeney and Nancy O'Dell — took the stage and immediately took turns talking about the comedian/filmmaker's five-decade commitment to raising money for a cure. Huge photos of Lewis at various stages of his career served as a backdrop on stage as they talked.
Jerry Lewis still isn't hosting this year's Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon.
Despite a Las Vegas Review-Journal report to the contrary, Lewis' spokeswoman, Candi Cazau, tells Reuters that his status has not changed.
Jerry Lewis stepping down from Labor Day telethon
"Him being reinstated as the host of the MDA telethon is not accurate," Cazau said.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal had cited an unnamed source close to the comedian ...
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.