Jerry Lewis with Johnny and Sal

Bear and Jerry's kids

Kermit and Calvin Ray Johnson

Rizzo and Pepe sing "Wake Up Little Pledgers".

Calvin Ray Johnson and the Muppets

Sesame Street Live Bert and Ernie on the 1980 telethon

Between 1955 and 2014, The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon had raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Entertainer Jerry Lewis has become well-known for his tireless work supporting "Jerry's kids", as the children he's helped are known. Around 200 stations aired the program annually, called the "Love Network", which features entertainment from performers. The list of appearances includes hundreds of celebrities. The show has been hosted 38 times by Ed McMahon.

In 1998, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon made history as the first telethon seen around the world via Internet simulcast, hosted by RealNetworks on MDA's Web site.




  • Near the end of the telethon, Roller Skating Rink Operators Association vice president Marvin Fascher presents a check to Jerry Lewis, with the help of Ernie and Bert walk-arounds from Sesame Street Live. Lewis asks them to get him a cookie.







  • Later in the morning, Bear sang three songs for a group of kids. Noel MacNeal performed Bear live to interact with the children, and lipsynced to the studio recorded songs. This was Bear's final appearance to date.


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