Monday, September 03, 2007

'Everybody loves a clown...'

'...So why don't you?' So sang Gary Lewis, live from Vegas, introduced by a father who was beaming with pride.

Yes, it's that time of year again. The real end of summer (for as long as I can remember): the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.

Where else can you see Norm Crosby deliver his malapropisms, Gary Lewis sell (this) diamond ring, a ventriloquist who uses Jerry as his dummy and of course, Ed MacMahon, a bit shaky though his voice is still booming, calling for a timp?

It's a very worthwhile cause and has raised so much money and even more awareness for the debilitating disease and Jerry's kids. They just hit $39,000,000 so far at 1:45 pm ET. And if you happen to be reading this, I hope you'll think about giving.

But as a piece of entertainment, the Telethon is unsurpassed. It spawned the genre. Seamlessley blends big business and showbiz (on the same stage).

And it's all we have left from the grand tradition of Vaudeville variety that was transformed to the early days of TV to Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson to good old fashioned showbiz where pretty much anything goes. It's my parent's world: classy tuxedoed performers in nighclubs, good natured joshing and lots of maudlin sentimentality. Hey, it works for me and always takes me back.

So thanks Jerry. For all the good work. For keeping up the tradition. For carrying on.

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