BOOTLEG FILES 603: “The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon” (a 1966-2010 annual televised fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association).
LAST SEEN: Bits and pieces can be found on YouTube and other video sites.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No attempt was made to release the entire telethon broadcasts in their entirety for home entertainment viewing.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: None.
For many people, this week’s passing of Jerry Lewis was followed by commentary and articles on his classic films. But for my generation – those who grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s – the emotional connection to Lewis was less about his movies and more about the bizarre, elephantine mayhem that he unleashed annually on the American public over the Labor Day weekend that became known as the “Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.” Never in the history of fundraising has a greater display of slapstick, vulgarity and pathos been slapped together around the personality of someone who was certainly the most brilliant egomaniac in show business.