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‘MDA Show Of Strength Telethon’: Jerry Lewis' influence is felt on MDA show

Jerry Lewis' influence is still felt by fans for the yearly MDA charity telethon
Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

The “MDA Show Of Strength Telethon” once again hopes to get contributions from people across the United States on Labor Day. The Muscular Dystrophy Association's key fundraising event once hosted by Jerry Lewis has been made into a special. According to Zap 2 It on Sunday, even Jerry Lewis could be seen on tape as highlights of past telethons are shared.

So where is Jerry Lewis this year? To celebrate some of these memories, MDA video archives were reviewed and some of the best moments in MDA telethon history were offered to fans to cast their vote for their favorite. Among the videos voted on were performances and appearances by Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, Celine Dion, Will.i.am, Tim McGraw, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ed McMahon and of course the legendary Jerry Lewis.

Jerry Lewis might be seen on tape, but there is no confirmation that he is still part of the show. The Las Vegas Sun reports that on Saturday that Jerry Lewis received an honor as a Member of the Order of Australia, the highest award bestowed on a civilian by that country. Apparently the star is still in Las Vegas and will be watching the MDA Telethon at home.

The relationship between Jerry Lewis and MDA relationship fractured after the 2010 MDA Labor Day Telethon and people saw the charity change their formula and focus on making the event a slick entertainment program. The viewers might tune in (and hopefully they still donate,) but Jerry Lewis is never far from anyone’s mind when mentioning the MDA. He gave unconditionally for years to the charity and his positive presence is still felt on the show.

The “MDA Show Of Strength 2014” special includes performances from Rascal Flatts, Jason Derulo, Aloe Blacc, LeAnn Rimes, Fall Out Boy, Sara Evans, American Authors and Bret Michaels. Plus many ABC celebrities are speaking during the show too.