Jerry Lewis' Telethon

Jerry Lewis died just a few days ago at the age of 91. His obituaries focussed on his accomplishments as a film director after he broke up with Dean Martin. Like many others who follow movies, I regard all of his post Dean Martin movies as unwatchable rather than just merely bad, whatever it is that the French may think of Lewis as a filmmaker. To me, Jerry Lewis’ main accomplishment was as producer and star of the Muscular Dystrophy Telethons, a format for raising money for charity that he raised to being a kind of performance art. Let’s treat the genre of the Telethon as something worthwhile in itself.

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