After a newspaper report this weekend that Jerry Lewis would resume his role as host of this year’s Labor Day weekend Muscular Dystrophy Association, the veteran entertainer’s rep said this would not be happening.
“Him being reinstated as the host of the MDA telethon is not accurate,” Lewis’s spokesperson Candi Cazau told Reuters.
The erroneous story had appeared in Lewis’s hometown paper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which cited an unnamed source close to the comedian as saying, “Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association have made peace.”
After more than half a century, Lewis, 85, announced in May that he was retiring as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a position he had held since the early ’50s – though, he made clear, he would still assume his TV role on the Sept. 4 telethon, the annual TV event that raises millions on behalf of those afflicted with the disease.
But then, in a surprise announcement at the beginning of August came official word that Lewis would not be part of this year’s telecast.
“We will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman, and he will not be appearing on the telethon,” said R. Rodney Howell, M.D., chairman of the board for the MDA.
Since then Lewis has not commented publicly on the situation.
BY STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN