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Jerry Lewis to Retire from the MDA Labor Day Telethon

For 45 years and 900 broadcast hours, Jerry Lewis has hosted the annual Labor Day telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

That era is ending.  The MDA has announced that Jerry Lewis is retiring and will make one last appearance this year to sing his signature telethon tune, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”  Always a tearjerker, the song is sure to generate a Las Vegas-sized fountain of tears from all concerned this year.

The MDA says Jerry Lewis is “retiring” but doesn’t say whether he’ll host the 2011 show or just make an appearance.  The 2011 show will be a “six hour prime-time Telethon on September 4th,” which is a big change from the usual 21-hour overnight extravaganza.  September 4th is the Sunday of that Labor Day weekend.

Lewis turned 85 in March. He hosted the first MDA Telethon in 1966 in New York City.  He will continue as the MDA’s national chairman.

See more telethon photos of Jerry Lewis >>

{ Photo: Judy Eddy / WENN }

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