Jerry Lewis: Will he or won’t he?

Nobody seems to know whether the iconic host of the Muscular Dystrophy telethon for the last 45 years will appear this year or not.  The Las Vegas Advisor is reporting on the Question of the Day post that it’s unclear whether Jerry Lewis will appear on the broadcast.

Mda-telethon-logo_005It was back in May of this year that we reported in “Today’s News” that after 45 years, Jerry Lewis was retiring from hosting the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day telethon. He said that he would make a final appearance on the show this Sept. 4, however, performing his song “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

About three weeks ago, however, the MDA issued a statement saying Lewis had “completed his run” as its national chairman and “would not be appearing on the telethon,” indicating that there was more to the separation than met the eye. The statement also revealed that major changes were being made to this year’s broadcast, including slashing the duration of the telethon from 22 to six hours. As proof of the termination of the comedian’s involvement, the Las Vegas Sun observed that restaurant place mats at South Point, which featured Lewis’ famous black-and-white caricature, vanished mysteriously.

Last Thursday, it was announced that Lewis was to be honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Nevada Broadcasters Association during the group’s annual fundraising dinner at Red Rock last Saturday, which was the comedian’s first public appearance since the mysterious parting of ways. He apparently made no reference to the schism during his acceptance speech.

On Sunday, the plot thickened however, as gossip columnist Norm Clarke revealed first that the MDA had issued memos to various telethon partners stating that Lewis would perform his finale after all, in a taped segment with a 30-piece orchestra, only to be informed by Lewis’ publicist that she had no knowledge of any involvement in the event on his part.

Things got curiouser and curiouser when, on the same day “a source close to Lewis” told Clarke that Lewis was actually being “reinstated” as host of the telethon, which he reported in his column in the R-J, only to be told subsequently by the same source that he had been misspoken and that although Lewis and the MDA had “reconciled,” (the first open acknowledgement that there had indeed been some kind of rift), Lewis had not been reinstated as host and would not be performing.

Still, speculation (and hope) remains that there’s a chance that Lewis will make a surprise appearance, which would seem a much more fitting way to end his iconic involvement in the event than the media circus his departure has been marked by to date.

To answer your question, yes, the event will still take place as scheduled on September 4 at South Point. As far as we know, that is — there’s no mention of it at all on the property’s website…