Telethon that Jerry Lewis memorably ran pulls plug

The Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, a Labor Day television tradition for decades, is ending.

MDA said Friday that “the new realities of television viewing and philanthropic giving” make it the right time to end the annual event, memorably hosted for most of its life by Jerry Lewis.

Celebrities including Frank Sinatra, John Lennon and Michael Jackson to Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez have performed on the telethon, first hosted by Lewis and Dean Martin in 1956. It moved to Labor Day in 1966.

The telethon ran 21 and a half hours in 2010, Lewis’ last year as host, and had dwindled to a two-hour show the last two years.

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