2011 MDA Telethon Raises $61 Million Without Jerry Lewis
Posted on Mon Sep 5, 2011 11:14 AM PDT
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (X17online) - Despite longtime host Jerry Lewisâ€™s absence, the 46th annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon raised over $61 million on Sunday.
Lewis had hosted the telethon since its 1966 debut and raised $1.66 billion over his 45-year run. Neither the MDA nor Lewis have offered explanations for Lewisâ€™s absence, which was announced last month.
Lewis nevertheless remained a central feature of the 21-hour event, which paid homage to the comedian with video and photo presentations that served as backdrops to the stage.
Nigel Lythgoe, Jann Carl, Alison Sweeney and Nancy O'Dell co-hosted this yearâ€™s telethon.
â€œJerry, and I know you're watching, when you gave me that chair I know it's possible to sit on it, but it's isn't possible, Jerry, to replace you, sir,â€ said Lythgoe, executive producer of American Idol, in his opening statement
The 2011 Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon raised about $2.6 million more than last year, according to MDA officials.