Monday, September 02, 2013

Unforgettable Labor Day reunion

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you don't have to work today, but if you do, my hat is off to you. I know this ol' world keeps spinning around, and here's to the working people who make it happen.

Hey, remember the Jerry Lewis MDA telethons? I used to watch at least pieces of them every Labor Day.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Jerry Lewis is kind of annoying. (There are some truly bizarre, yet fascinating clips on YouTube of him talking to Dick Cavett.) But, I like him, and about one thing there is no doubt: Jerry Lewis did more for the Muscular Dystrophy Association than any 50 other people combined. I still can't get over how the MDA unceremoniously dumped him after all those years. And, no, I've not watched the telethon since, nor will I give a cent to the MDA.

Jerry's telethons were fascinating. Live TV. Hours and hours of it. You never knew who might show up. Johnny Carson! Frank Sinatra! Wayne Newton! Sammy Davis Jr.! Some random act you've never heard of!

This is my favorite clip. Francis Albert Sinatra, who could get away with nearly everything, reunited Jerry with his former sidekick, Dean Martin, in 1976, 20 years after they had worked together or seen one another. And I think this is the ONLY time they ever saw each other until Dino's death. (Correct me on that if I'm wrong.)

Update: My friend Michael Henderson reminded me that Jerry talked to Dino by phone for about 15 minutes when Dean Martin Jr. died. 

Oh, and here's my second favorite clip

Have a great, relaxing, rejuvenating day.

And here's to ya, Jer. We miss ya, pal.

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Blogger Chuck said...

Jake, several years ago, Melody and I took a trip to Costa Rica to visit our son. As we boarded the plane, Jerry was seated in First Class with his entourage, laughing, talking, and generally enjoying himself. He responded to our greetings as we trouped by, and came across as a really nice guy.

I agree about the MDA. What a bush league organization; no heart, just adding machines.

12:16 PM  

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