Jerry Lewis Won't Host Famed Muscular Dystrophy Telethon

Credit: Denise Truscello/

It's the end of an era.

For the first time in 45 years, Jerry Lewis will not host this Labor Day's Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, and is no longer MDA's national chairman, the association told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

The 85-year-old comic legend and humanitarian has been MDA's national chairman since the early 1950s and hosted his first telethon back in 1966. Lewis had originally announced in May that the 2011 show would be his final year on the telethon -- but that he would stay on as chairman.

But MDA Chairman of the Board R. Rodney Howell clarified Wednesday that Lewis "will not be appearing on the telethon...we will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman."

No further explanation was provided for the unexpected news.