Jerry Lewis must DIE!

I just wanted to be initiate this thread, to make a pre-emptive strike, in advance of the inevitable annual telethon horror. I will not watch your sickening display of fake concern “for the children” and I would only donate money to your telethon if I could watch your body stretched and torn apart by teams of horses on live television.

I have nothing against contributing to charities, I contribute to charities myself. I have nothing but sympathy for the victims of Muscular Dystrophy and other diseases covered by this charity.

What I DO have a problem with is the disproportionate amount of funding given to Jerry Lewis when there are much graver health problems, and many deserving charities with much more serious funding problems. The last time I saw statistics, MD was one of the top 5 charities in funding while MD didn’t even rank in the top 20 diseases in terms of overall societal impact. Furthermore, I have serious problems about exploiting sick children for the purposes of wrangling donations. Oh, I have so many problems with Mr. Lewis and his sickening telethon, I hardly know where to begin. But I will leave it there for now.

Yes, and the movies.

The voice, the jerking, the faces, the “amusing” teeth when playing a character role, the telegraphing of jokes.

And the white socks with dark pants and black shoes.


If it weren’t for Jerry Lewis, no one would even know that muscular dystrophy et al even exist. He decided to make a difference, and did.

Apparently, there are a large number of kids with MD and their families that think pretty highly of Jerry. And not just because of the research dollars, and hope, that he brings in. I think it’s because he sees these MD kids as kids, and his telethon has forced millions of others to do so as well.

You seem to resent the fact that the MD charities are successful. Why? Do you think that people will donate less to, say, cancer research because they made a pledge during the telethon?

You speak of “graver health problems”. As if there were some objective way to quantify and rank order suffering or unfulfilled lives. And you know what? Even if there was it would be irrelevant. Whatever is, is right. If people want to donate to MD, great. If they opt to give to cancer, great. Diabetes, great. No one has any right to presume to judge which causes are worthy.

As an aside, the list of diseases ‘supported’ by the telethon extends well beyond the myriad muscular dystrophies and includes Lou Gehrig’s disease, myasthenia gravis, and polymyositis among others.

Why leave it there?
A few questions: Why are you convinced he is showing “fake concern” for MD patients?

Are you saying that people should pick causes on the basis of their ranking in the social impact scale?

Is there evidence that Jerry is running off to Acapulco on the proceeds of this telethon? If not, how is he “exploiting sick children”?

I’ve never liked Jerry Lewis or his telethon much. But I need better reasons to approach your level of loathing.

What a weird rant. I don’t know whether to berate you or cheer you on. I think I could go either way.

Who are you to say which diseases are worthy of my money? Who are you to tell someone that they can’t support a particular branch of research because it isn’t important enough. I’d like you to tell that to the people suffering from MD. “Hey, sorry, you’ve been bumped off Chas’s list. Maybe if you stick your head in a microwave and get cancer I’ll see what I can do for you.”

Now, nowhere in your rant had you deemed it important enough to even suggest that the administrative costs of that telethon are astronomical. If you had listed what a low percentage of my money would actually go to supporting the cause and not into someone’s back pocket, I would be right there with you telling Jerry Lewis where he go stick his microphone.

Don’t fault Jerry Lewis for supporting MD. That’s not for you to decide. Fault him for what he does with that money.

What? Have none of you ever suffered through The Disorderly Orderly?


Hey Laaa-dy!


Yeah, but don’t you love it when he sings “Great Balls of Fire”?


Sure, I didn’t get that far in my rant. But I’m much more concerned about HOW he “inspires” people to raise that money. Perhaps an example I posted in another thread will be of
While I described these people as fundies, they were indeed raising money for the MD telethon.
What set me off this year is a series of stories on our local news, the station that is sponsoring the telethon. They have chosen to devote 5 minutes per night out of the short news cycle to their MD telethon preparations. I have reservations over this for two reasons. First, reporters are supposed to report the news, not create it. But more importantly, there are many situations of importance that could have used those 5 minutes of exposure. People across the world are dying because nobody knows about their story and they are not moved to act on that knowledge. Obviously the local TV reporters know this since they provide that exposure to their pet cause. I am cynical enough to assert that they are doing this for their own benefit, to be seen as socially concerned activists.
But that’s just the background. What set me off is their repeated coverage of the local Fire Dept’s donation campaign. They showed last years effort on tape. Groups of firemen, in uniform, set up roadblocks at major intersections throughout the city. Each car is visited by a fireman and solicited for donations before they can pass through the roadblock. This is nothing short of “extortion under color of authority.”
These firemen obviously have the right to do whatever “charitable” works they want, on their off hours. But that does not extend to blocking the public streets and forcing the citizenry to run their gantlet. If the FD stops me at a roadblock, they better be informing me that the road ahead is impassable due to fire, and I say that for their own safety, not just mine. I shudder to think what would happen if a seriously stoned crackhead should get caught in their roadblock and mistake their uniforms for the Police.
Perhaps Ender is right, it is unfair to quantify suffering in the manner I did. But it is equally wrong to quantify the success of combatting MD on a tote board. Much of that pledge total will never be collected, but we never hear about that. But more to the point, I think I prefer the allocation of research funding decided by trained medical personnel, like the NIH, rather than by how many Joe Sixpacks were moved to donate by seeing Jerry bawl over a wheelchair-bound poster child.
Moreover, it was my impression that an effective treatment for MD had been discovered. The local TV station has been running a series of PSAs from the MD Society that describe a new gene therapy for MD. And I’ve read about it in other sources. If this is true, the breakthrough sure as hell didn’t come from the MD charity, it came through general genetics research. Maybe Jerry should have given all that money to the Human Genome Project, they could have done more good for their own cause and found a cure more quickly, while benefitting other diseases as well.

Look, dude, I hate Jerry Lewis movies as much as the next guy (with the notable exception of the brilliant King of Comedy). I mean he was the Pauly Shore of his time or is that the other way around?

Anyway, if you want to choose a different charity, start your own fucking telethon. Put in the hours that he does. He has enough cash to live out his life playing golf and banging bimbos yet he puts in countless hours for charity. So fucking sorry that it’s not the disease that you chose. Maybe someone close to him had MS and that’s why he chose that as his cause. He is trying to cure MS by any legal means. He is not benefiting one bit from this. He makes no money and what was his career is over so he doesn’t need publicity. I mean it is a good cause, right?


Why am I not surprised that a Chas E. rant would be against a charity drive for MD patients? :rolleyes: Schmuck.

Now if you had attacked Jerry Lewis’s movies…

You don’t read too closely. I’m not against a telethon for MD charities. I’m against JERRY LEWIS’ telethon. He’s a loose cannon in the charity world, and the things he inspires people to do are sickening. Go read a couple of these sites:
Note that this grassroots movements against Jerry Lewis and his tactics is coming from MD sufferers.
There are better ways to do this. But they’ll never happen as long as Jerry Lewis hogs the spotlight with his pity-thon.

I saw this thread and was debating whether I should make a comment of that sort as I opened it. It gave me such a warm glow (along with gales of laughter) to see that you beat me to it. :slight_smile:

I have nothing against funding for muscular dystrophy, (I never thought I’d have to say that!) But Jerry Lewis SHOULD die because his fundraising is deceptive. I knew a woman with MS who Lewis brought on stage to help raise funds. He raised funds to get her a new wheelchair and to renovate her house to make it more accessible. The money never came. The woman died a few years ago. Lewis is still up there lying.

Proof, please? Sites?

He raises funding for MD, not MS.

I still wish he did his telethons live-I’ve heard he used to go off on people and act totally drunk-I’d kill to see that.

You probably want “cites.” I don’t have any. I spoke to the woman. A close friend saw the telethon in which she appeared. I don’t expect everyone to change their minds because of one person’s anecdote, but do remember that not all fundraising is a straighforward as it seems.

Yes, I remember, and please bear with me, Howard Stern’s New Year’s 1994 special. One of his “panelists” was a dwarf who declared “Jerry Lewis can kiss my crippled ass! I’ve been doing his telethons for ten years and I haven’t seen dime one! Go to hell, King of Comedy!”


Yes, I remember, and please bear with me, Howard Stern’s New Year’s 1994 special. One of his “panelists” was a dwarf who declared “Jerry Lewis can kiss my crippled ass! I’ve been doing his telethons for ten years and I haven’t seen dime one! Go to hell, King of Comedy!”


This isn’t going through, so I’ll add something. A while back, when JL made that remark about women only being good for making babies, someone on this board asserted that the MD asked him to be their spokesperson, or he volunteered, in the hope that he could atone for his onscreen persona being so very offensive to genuinely disabled people.

Ah, jeez, it did go through. Sigh.

I worked for the MD Telethon for 17 years (locally, not nationally). I got in to it because as a teenager, I was interested in working in television. My grandfather was a local news anchor, and he did the local segment of the telethon. I stayed with it because I came to believe that it was indeed a good cause.

My circumstances have changed over the years, and I haven’t been able to do it for the last couple of years, and that makes me sad. I donate when I can, though. Especially when I see a firefighter standing on a corner. Those people raise some serious bucks for this cause, because they think it’s worthy. They dress up in clown suits and stand in the street, knowing people will point & laugh & say the same shit that’s in the OP. But they do it anyway. Why? Because they believe in the cause, just like Jerry Lewis does.

Recognize it for what it is, man–a worthy cause. And if they keep getting the money like they have been, one of these days, the telethons will stop, because they’ll find a cure. And people such as yourself can quit fucking whining about how your’re never going to give to the MDA because the spokesman is a schmuck.

Ah, a long-term worker of the pity industry speaks. You know there are at least a couple of MD sufferers on SDMB, I don’t see them leaping to the MDA’s defense.