Why folks, yes indeed it was a bust!
Last Labor Day weekend was the first time in in over 50 years that Jerry Lewis was not the host and thus the face of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the annual telethon.
I wrote about the curiousness of the whole event of it becoming a Jerry Lewisless telethon in 2011.
So, without Mr. Lewis, the MDA claimed that it raised more money and in only a six-hour show vs the 21-hour Sunday through Monday staple for many years.
Oh, well that turns out to be, to put it kindly, a boat boat of BS.
According to Showbiz 411, via the Drudge Report, the MDA only saw $31,000,000 of the $61,000,000 that was pledged last year.
Of course that does bring up the way the the show seemed to imply that they actually raised the movable totals on the infamous tote-board. But that is another issue. For the fact is that they always see less actual donations than what is pledged on the day of the telethon. Usually, the actual money vs pledge runs well north of 50%.
Oh, did I note that money vs. pledge last year was only half?
What is even more disturbing is that the MDA is now running in a sea of red-ink in its day-to-day operations.
And to top all of this soap opera off, the dude that fired Mr. Lewis, Gerald C. Weinberg and his minions are, surprise, no longer working for the MDA.
Something tells me that Mr. Weinberg had a really, really big ego. As does Mr. Lewis. But Mr. Weinberg thought it was time for a change. Maybe it was. But as I noted in my post of last year, no doubt at a serious level, the way the 21-hour beg-a-thon was becoming very stale. Unknown acts, Norm Crosby being dug up every year since the death of long-time sidekick Ed McMahon. You get the point. But the face of the MDA was dumped. And a lot of bad things happened to the MDA and the worst part is that it may never recover.
As one that believes in groups like this and the good that it does, it is beyond sad. It is pathetic. There had to be a better way for a transition from Mr. Lewis to another permanent host until he or she dies and or there is a cure.
I agree with the writer of the Showbiz 411 article, Roger Friedman. Mr. Lewis is not feeling vindicated but sad. He put his whole life for "his kids". Was it exploitative? To a point, sure. But would MDA have raised the kind of money that they did over the years? If last year is any indication, no, not at all.
Oh, in case you are interested to see this year's train wreck of a "telethon", better not blink your eyes. For if six-hours was way too much, this year it is going to be a whole three hours.
Yup, the MDA in dumping Jerry Lewis proved that it is not the same show and that they claims of raising more money than the year before was a lie. Which means it was a bust.