Friday, September 01, 2006
Don't forget the Jerry Lewis Telethon
The 2006 Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon begins on Sunday evening. It's the 41st. It's back in Las Vegas. Sort of.
You can donate here. Give 'til it hurts.
From Tabloid Baby:
...The next day I had a message from Jerry Lewis. I'd written him a letter, asking permission to shoot behind the scenes at his Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Jerry had called me back.
Jerry Lewis was my show business hero. His telethons were, to me, the ultimate in reality television, edge-of-your-seat psychodramas from an alternative show business universe where time stopped in the Sixties and only Frank Sinatra was a bigger star than Jerry himself.
I had dozens of VHS tapes at home filled with complete 21-hour telethons from years of Labor Day weekends. Two years earlier, when my friend Kiki worked as an assistant director for the telethon from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, I volunteered as a production assistant just so I could stay awake the entire time and hang with Jerry and Sammy and the gang.
One of the producers had assigned my first task the moment I arrived in the production trailer: fix the show rundowns that were distributed to all studio personnel. Someone had typed "Muscular Dystrophy Telethon" at the top of the sheets. Jerry had passed through the office, noticed the misprint and demanded it be corrected on every page. It was my job to white out the words "Muscular Dystrophy" and type in "Jerry Lewis." This wasn't the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, it was the Jerry Lewis Telethon. I was in fucking heaven...