Post User Polls

Jerry Lewis's telethon

Tom Shales called Jerry Lewis's telethon "mesmerizing, agonizing and, to some extent, worrisome." The 84-year-old sobbed through much of the closing song, he writes, and made news before the telethon by talking about Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

By Local Editors  |  September 7, 2010; 9:41 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Can a new tax credit help the economy in the short term? | Next: Should Rahm Emanuel run?


Please email us to report offensive comments.

First Jerry Lewis telethon I watched
was the 1958 one (and my first viewing
of King Kong). Both were great.

Jerry's getting old. But, God bless him!
He never did have to do any of it. It says
a lot about him as a human being that
he's been doing it all these years!

S D Rodrian


Posted by: sdr1 | September 8, 2010 1:03 AM

I REFUSE to watch this telethon. Jerry Lewis is Public Enemy #1 when it comes to people with disabilities. He testified in Congress against passage of the ADA, and portrays people with disabilities as objects of pity, and likely doomed. Further, we people with disabilities are NOT Jerry's Kids.

Posted by: DRFJR | September 8, 2010 6:19 AM

Comedian Chris Rock put it best:

"I've been watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon...for..years now.
Not one stitch of progress whatsoever.

Come on, man. Lie to me, Jerry!
Put a stick in the kid's back,
prop him up or some s---!

Tie some string around him,
make a cripple puppet or some s---.

Lie to me! Where the money going?
What, to keep Jerry's hair black?"

This annual telethon is literally as old as I am (44). Millions of dollars have been raised each yea,r and the cumulative effect is probably nearing one billion dollars. Yet there hasn't been a cure, let alone significant medical progress being made. I hate to be cynical, but it makes you wonder.

Posted by: lwilliamson1 | September 8, 2010 9:58 AM

I admire his generosity and concern. But the telethon in a relic of the early days of independent UHF TV stations needing programming. It's not something that i would tune in to see for any longer than a few minutes. But i think it's a great benefit to MDA and the people they serve so congratulations on your success. No harm done and lots of people will benefit.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | September 8, 2010 10:48 AM

I resent the firefighters with the boots at intersections collecting on behalf of MDA. I'd happily give money to firefighters to support firefighting but not this racket, which is what it has become. I wish it would just cease!!

Posted by: Susannah3 | September 8, 2010 11:17 AM

being over 50, i can't remember the website that analyzes how much money actually goes to research, the patients, facilities, etc., and it turns out to be very, very little. the majority of the $$$ goes to overhead, salaries, etc.
i refuse to give one cent to this group.

Posted by: frieda406 | September 8, 2010 12:15 PM

i remember, hurray. the group that reviews expenses/income, etc. is charity navigator. check it out. the ceo of the mda association earns slightly over $400k per year. apparently, they're currently operating at a loss, probably due to the economy.

Posted by: frieda406 | September 8, 2010 12:19 PM

fr susannah3:

>I resent the firefighters with the boots at intersections collecting ...

I do too, as they are a major distraction to drivers.

Posted by: Alex511 | September 8, 2010 1:07 PM

I actually know what a telethon is, but I have never watched the Jerry Lewis one. I didn't even know it was a Labor Day event that happened every year. I don't even know what channel it comes on. The only time I watch a telethon is when there is a crisis and all of the Hollywood celebrities come together and do a telethon. Even then, I can barely watch the whole thing.

Posted by: forgetthis | September 8, 2010 1:11 PM

You should have asked another question:
"Did you miss it by accident or forgetfulness"?
That's my excuse.
I had to mark "No" because I forgot it was Labor Day Weekend and we are no longer in the habit of watching our local channels on Sunday night.
For several years, after Hurricane Rita, when we got DirecTV, we couldn't get local channels, although they added them 2 years ago.
We always donate -- my brother-in-law has MD, as did his brother and his father.
We believe in Jerry Lewis and his remarkable MDA.
We've seen the wonderful benefits it provides many times for 2 generations.
Filling the boot when we go through a nearby intersection gives us a chance to thank our wonderful firefighters for all they do for us and our community.
Frieda406 is in error.
The MDA telethon is famous for the fact that none of the money given by individuals goes for overhead.
It goes into research on neuromuscular diseases and for services for those who suffer with them and for their families.
Check with the Better Business Bureau, if you don't believe me.
If you complain about "overhead," what that entails is providing year-round offices in communities all over the country for assisting families with those who have the diseases.
Everything you see on TV for the telethon, including the air time, is donated.
Give Jerry a break.
He's been fighting that old canard for years.
Yes, there are many charities that only benefit their causes with 10 to 20 percent of actual donations.
MDA does NOT operate that way.
They put a ton of money into research and they are making headway with a number of the diseases they have taken under their wing.
Get your facts straight.
That's why we give as generously as we can, even the year my husband was on unemployment.
We know the money will go to benefit our Tom and the other people who have had the bad luck to have to endure this suffering.
We're very proud of Jerry Lewis and have been watching since at least 1970 -- the first year the telethon was aired on our local channel.
We try not to miss, but we missed it this year.
Thanks to Tom Shales, I got up on just before I voted and gave our donation.
I'll also call the local office to send them a separate check for summer camp.
J. C. Allen, Beaumont, TX

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | September 8, 2010 1:49 PM

Posted by: femocrat | September 8, 2010 6:04 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company