Wednesday, September 8, 2010

THIS OVERGROWN KID WHO, DECADES AGO, REPRESENTED IRREVERENT YOUTH LONG BEFORE HIPPIES AND PUNK ROCKERS: Tom Shales reviews Jerry Lewis' performance at his annual MDA telethon, which raises all sorts of questions to ponder:
  • Is it unfair to even review critically such a broadcast, given the overall good it does in the world?
  • What ever happened to telethons? I feel like local stations used to broadcast more of them. Is it a combination of the dearth of local ownership of network affiliates and the increased focused on the bottom line? Is it that the Internet has made regular charitable giving easier and reduced the need for such broadcasts?
  • Can I get through a Jerry Lewis post without referencing The Day The Clown Cried and Spy magazine article on same?
  • Shales writes "Big stars like Joan Crawford (seen in a clip on the MDA Web site) don't come on anymore, but then, there aren't big stars like Joan Crawford anymore, are there?" Is this a bad thing? (Do enjoy the MDA's full list of celebrity appearances from 1966-2009. Including KISS! The Jackson Five! And a favorite of mine, below the fold.)


  1. I wish this particular telethon weren't hosted by someone as repugnant as Jerry Lewis.  Great cause, but if I were to give money to MDA research it would be in March or something, to get as far away from the telethon as possible.

  2. Of course, while the MDA telethon gets attention, other similar events have drawn bigger stars and raised more money in a shorter period of time--e.g., Hope For Haiti Now, Stand Up To Cancer.

  3. I can't read your post without screaming, "Albertson's!"

    Video of his complaining about the lights and his broken-down rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone:, referenced by Shales.

  4. That's uncomfortable to watch -- whether it's hamming it up or authentic emotion.  I need to redeem the song right now:" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="170" height="140

  5. sconstant2:22 PM

    I was going to ask TT about Stand Up to Cancer - it's an odd mash, hosted by the three network anchors, it's also going to be on Fox and random places (Style) but not on other places (MSNBC).  Not clear what the rhyme or reason is.

    Also the guest list is wacky:
    "Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams host a fund-raiser for cancer research. Stevie Wonder leads a musical number that includes Natasha Bedingfield, Queen Latifah, Martina McBride, Aaron Neville and Dave Stewart. Also appearing are Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Fran Drescher, Michael C. Hall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sharon Osbourne, Maura Tierney, Sofia Vergara and Ethan Zohn."

    What year was this produced in?

    Also, why is Comcast warning me in it's TV listings that it's going to have infrequent coarse language?  Are they anticipating a fucking brilliant walkon by Bono?

  6. I would not be watching it but for their telling me that noted sidekick (or is it the former A's pitcher) Dave Stewart was in the musical number.  Also:

    "The following supporters have now joined the broadcast: Elizabeth Banks, Kathy Bates, Sir Richard Branson, Michael Chiklis, George Clooney, Baron Davis, Emily Deschanel, Bill Hader, Dorothy Hamill, Anne Heche, Cheryl Hines, Randy Jackson, George Karl, Dr. Jon Lapook, Rob Lowe, Jane Lynch, Marlee Matlin, Shareen Mitchell, Olivia Munn, Lisa Niemi, Kelly Osbourne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Passmore, Will Smith, Sam Trammell, Denzel Washington, Aaron Yoo and Renée Zellweger.

    "Musical guests scheduled to perform include: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day,Neil Diamond, The Edge, Delta Goodrem, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Lady Antebellum, Leona Lewis, Orianthi and Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of Heart. These artists join previously announced performers including Natasha Bedingfield, Martina McBride, Aaron Neville, Dave Stewart and Stevie Wonder."

  7. isaac_spaceman6:05 PM

    Given that roster, I really hope it's Karl, and not Banks or Osbourne, that justifies the "coarse language."