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6:48 a.m. - 2001-09-03

JERRY'S KIDS EMPTY THEIR POCKETS FOR JERRY

It's a new day, so naturally, I have new aches and pains.

My legs feel fine. My testicles feel fine.

My left shoulder feels like the LAPD used it for target practice.

Three words, kiddies...enjoy your youth.


Ever since I was a kid, Labor Day has meant one thing...eat until you puke.

It's also meant nearly 24 hours of solid entertainment provided by Jerry Lewis and his amazing telethon.

In the 1970s, the telethon was THA SHIZNIT. It was NOTHING to have the Osmonds on FOLLOWED by the Jackson 5.

...Do this and you'd have one happy little husky Uncle Bob, bouncing his ass on the sofa and clapping his hands with glee.

These days, it's almost like the Telethon is kryptonite to today's superstars.

Where's Britney? Justin and the boys? Hell...I'd take a special guest appearance by Corey Feldman right now in a pathetic attempt to reach out to today's hip audience.

Sadly, it's none of that. These days, you get Jerry's friends.

And Jerry's friends are about as close to hip as I am to athletic.

So, we're watching the Telethon last night because it's a g-damned tradition. They introduced Jerry, and instead of Jerry Lewis walking out, this fat, bloated, greasy guy is shown instead.

Me, being Mr. Pop Culture, explains to Susie that Jerry has been doing "really bad" lately and that this guy is probably filling in for him for the first few hours.

"No," Susie says. "That's Jerry Lewis."

I look again. No...it's NOT Jerry Lewis. It's some guy they're passing off as Jerry. I'm sure of it.

Wait a second.

Holy hell.

THAT'S JERRY F'N LEWIS!!

Folks, if you haven't bothered to tune in to the telethon yet, lemme warn ya...Jerry looks BAD.

It's like he's aged 30 years since the last telethon. There's something really really wrong with him. His face is the size of a Volkswagen, he's shaking, and he's about as funny as ass cancer.

It's really sad.

"Ohmigod," Susie said when his first closeup came on. "This is really sad."

Susie looked like she was going to cry. So it was up to me to keep her from crying.

"Well, he's like 80 something years old," I casually said. "It's about time he let himself go."

"But he looks like a freak," she said, fighting back the tears that she should be reserving for the video segments about the little kids with no muscles who drop a lot of shit.

I couldn't disagree with her. Jerry looks like he's been stung by a million bees and his face swelled up. The sad part is, every time he catches a glimpse of himself in a monitor, he's trying to suck in his cheeks or lift his head up high to reposition the massive amounts of fat in his face.

So a couple of firemen or 7-11 executives or someone come on and give Jerry a check for a bazillion dollars. When this used to happen, Jerry would give the camera a goofy grin, his eyes would begin to water and he'd say something like "These guys are the best".

Last night, he just took the check and prayed to God his jawbone didn't come poking out of his skin.

No tears. No smile. No "You guys....why...you guys!"

That's when I knew something was up. So I called the 1-800 number on the screen.

"Jerry Lewis telethon," the voice said.

"What's up with Jerry?" I asked.

"Are you calling in a pledge, sir," I was asked.

"I pledge to start sobbing if you don't tell me what's going on with Jerry," I said.

"Sir, this line is for pledges for Jerry's kids."

"Well," I thought. "I don't think I'll pledge just yet. I like to pledge towards the end of the show because then I feel like my dollar means more. My dollar may be the dollar that pushes you over the edge."

"Thank you for calling," the girl said, hanging up on me.

The nerve!

She wouldn't tell me what's wrong with Jerry.

It's a conspiracy I'm telling you. I bet he's got elephantigo...the stuff the Elephant Man had. Face gets all swelly and stuff.

Poor guy.

Not only is his body all swollen, but he has to put up with some really crappy entertainment this year.

At one point, Jerry was giving this long introduction to a superstar in the entertainment business.

"Cool," I said, sitting up in my recliner and pulling about 47 muscles in the process. "I bet he's going to introduce the Osmonds!"

He said that when this superstar appeared on the soundtrack to the movie "Father of the Bride", millions of people flocked to record stores to buy the album, making him one of the biggest superstars in the music business.

My mind raced. WHO was on the "Father of the Bride" soundtrack?? Harry Connick Jr.? Sisqo? Mel Torme???

Ladies and gentlemen....Steve Tyrell!

Outside my window, I heard a billion people say at the same time "What the fuck?"

Steve strolled out to center stage, thanking everyone for their kind applause the entire way. He sang some tune, snapping his fingers and looking about as cool as Bobby Brady wandering onto a porn movie set.

It made me long for Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy was cool. Sammy oozed coolness when he came on the telethon.

Sadly, Sammy died a long time ago. If Sammy was brought out now, his bones would collapse from the heat of the spotlight.

And you'd just have a puddle of Sammy onstage. No "Candy Man". No "MacArthur Park". Just a big clump of bones and decayed flesh.

I tuned in this morning as soon as I woke up and some country singing woman was on with her hair being blown all over the place.

She was NO Sammy. She may have been trying to be like Sammy but she was failing miserably.

And let's face it...every entertainer on the telethon wants to be as cool as Sammy. They want to be Jerry's second banana, hanging out with the Godfather of Handicapped Kids, hoping to just suck up a smidgen of the energy that Jerry exudes.

Sadly, it will never happen.

There was only one Sammy.

The best anyone can hope for now is to be raised to the level of Casey Kasem as far as being cool in Jerry's eyes.

Jerry still thinks Casey is an American treasure and one of the most talented men in the business.

Jerry.

Babe.

Casey does a radio show that nobody listens to anymore.

He was the voice of Shaggy.

That does NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT make him one of the most talented men in the business.

It may make him one of the most snickered at. But that's about it.

And as bad as the telethon has gotten this year, it can't hold a candle to the stinkarama that our local telethon has become.

The local weatherman hosts our local telethon. This guy has the face of a hoot owl...his eyes are practically non-existant, he has a huge beak and jowls like a diabetic pig.

(The Oak Ridge Boys just came on the telethon...three guesses what they've decided to sing..."Elvira". I bet that's one song those dumb bastards wish they had NEVER recorded)

Anyway...our local telethon is a farce. Last night, none of the "entertainment" could find which camera to look at to save their lives. We're talking about the weatherman, a news anchor and a news reporter. A little clue, people...it's the camera with the red light on top. They put that red light on top to make it easier to find, you buffoons.

Still, every one of them is seen staring at walls or whatever they may be looking at as they BEG for people to call in because all of the phone answerers on camera are just sitting there staring at their phones.

And the people answering the phones...you have one of two people answering the phones...sorority girls or local quasi-celebrities trying to help promote their businesses or their own personal causes.

One local radio deejay was on with a t-shirt promoting his new cell phone business that allows people who live paycheck to paycheck the opportunity to have a cell phone and look just as important as people with actual savings accounts.

A local used car dealer was on and every time the camera came on him, he stared into the camera, dropped his phone and struck a pose that says "Come buy a used car from me and forget about giving your money to Jerry's kids."

Sleaze personified.

Anyway...the telethon is a huge disappointment this year. Currently, a guy dressed in black leather named Bobby Badfingers is playing the drum solo in "Wipeout" by snapping his fingers. He's acting like he's the second coming of Elvis. I really wish you all could see this guy. He gives the words "pompous ass" a whole new meaning.

Wait until that guy finally gets arthritis...then let's see how many aging skanks show up at his finger snappin' shows.

Yeah.

Let's just wait and see.

I've got ribs to cook dammit. I ain't got time to be sitting here ragging on a bunch of D-level talents.

Adios. Have a great labor day. Don't work too hard.

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