UPDATE (2:15): We just put up a full story about Jerry Lewis's last MDA appearance. Below is an excerpt from that article, which includes a statement from Lewis:
Jerry Lewis, the face of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) annual Labor Day telethon for a generation, says this year’s broadcast will be his last as host.
The 85-year-old, who will remain as MDA’s national chairman, said in a statement through MDA that he will perform his signature song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” in his final appearance this year.
Who will replace Lewis, who hosted his first Labor Day telethon in 1966, remains to be seen. A team of co-hosts again will appear this year -- including Nancy O’Dell, Jan Carl, Alison Sweeney and Nigel Lythgoe. MDA Spokesman Jim Brown said MDA expects the team approach to work very well with the telethon’s new, primetime, six-hour format. He stressed that MDA evaluates the show every year to refine and fine tune it and they’ll be keeping a careful eye on the new format, as well.
“It’s time for an all new telethon era. This year’s six-hour prime-time telethon on Sept. 4 will be spectacular, and I'm thrilled to be part of it,” Lewis said in announcing his retirement. “We’re so close to treatments that it’s absolutely vital for everyone to tune in and make a generous donation. America has always found a way each year to give me that just one dollar more to help my kids,” he said.
We just put up a short update on The NonProfit Times website: Jerry Lewis will be stepping down as host of The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Telethon after this year. Lewis, 85, has been hosting the event for over 40 years. Mr. Lewis will still stay on as chairman of the organization.
We will have additional information about this story when it becomes available.