My last post about Jerry Lewis’s ouster from the MDA telethon summarizes my feelings about the event quite clearly, but I thought I’d share two of the clips that I showed last night on the Funhouse TV show in my annual Labor Day Jerry tribute episode. The first clip is from the second telethon Martin and Lewis hosted, and the first that was entirely devoted to MDA, on Thanksgiving Eve in 1953. The second clip is from the 2010 telethon, the last Jerry was ever to host (which of course we, and he, never knew was to be his swan song).
The interesting thing about contrasting the clips is noting Jerry’s approach — in the first he is mellow, and 57 years later he is frenzied (to the point of anger it seems) and sincerely impassioned about the cause. I present these as a sort of testament to a loooong time spent working for one charity.
Also, notice his emphasis on finding a cure. It’s seemed to me in the past few years that he is the one who has pushed that aspect of the MDA fund drive — he has spoken about a cure now for 57 years (note that back in 1953 he gave an amount of time, three months, in which the disease could be cured if the funds came in). Whereas the other spokespeople for the MDA seem to stress research and aid for those who are afflicted by the neuromuscular diseases.
Whatever the case may be, he certainly has given the organization a lotta his time and energy (discussions about his motivations can take place elsewhere — and already have). Since we are denied his company this evening as a host (and thus denied the last functional old-fashioned TV variety show), I thought I would share just a little of my Funhouse tribute here: