Jerry Lewis Telethon

August 31, 2008

The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon is a yearly Labor Day Weekend event – lasting 21 1/2 hours on August 31 – September 1. Read about it and see photos and video here.

The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon was first broadcast in 1966 by only one television station in New York City. However, thanks to Jerry Lewis’ quirky humor and sensitivity in speaking with children and adults dealing with muscular dystrophy, the unique event quickly caught the public’s eye and ended up raising more than a million dollars. Over its 42-years-and-counting run, it has gained momentum, and this year it will be broadcast on 180 stations across the country. This year’s show will feature an online auction which started on August 21st and includes items donated by celebrities, MDA sponsors and others. Items such as travel, unique experiences, electronics, golf, excursion, and sport memorabilia will be up for bid. The auction will end on September 4th.

Ten years ago, in 1998, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon was the first telethon seen around the world via an Internet simulcast. However, it was an “interactive” show from the beginning with guests appearing on the shows, and phone calls taken during the show. One staple of the show is the “tote board” where the running total is kept throughout the show each year. Each year the goal is to raise more than the previous year. In 2007, the total was $63.8 million.

Photos/pictures and a video of Jerry Lewis are below.

Video: Jerry Lewis “The Typewriter”

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