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No telethon farewell for Jerry Lewis

Comic icon Jerry Lewis is out as MDA national chairman and he’s not even going to do one last Labor Day telethon.

Jerry Lewis

As it now stands, we’re not going to hear Jerry Lewis sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” on this year’s Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day telethon.

The MDA, for which Lewis has raised more than $1 billion over the last 45 years, issued a statement on Thursday announcing that Lewis is out as national chairman and he would not be appearing on this year’s telethon.

“Jerry Lewis is a world-class humanitarian and we’re forever grateful to him for his more than half century of generous service to MDA. We will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman, and he will not be appearing on the telethon,” said R. Rodney Howell,  MDA Chairman of the Board of Directors in a statement.

That’s a contrast to the news in May when the MDA and Lewis said that he would be retiring, but not before one final appearance on this year’s telethon. They said that he would remain as national chairman of the MDA.

Call and emails to Lewis’ representatives were not returned by press time.

Lewis made headlines recently at the Television Critics Association press tour where his was promoting the new Encore special The Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis. Lewis said American Idol is garbage and The Biggest Loser is a joke. There was also a health scare for the 85-year-old comedy icon when he missed a show in Australia due to illness.

Lewis, at the TCA press tour, said he would hold a press conference on Labor Day to clarify his plans, according to the Associated Press.

Image courtesy of MDA

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