Tramel's powerfully primo potent prose tagged, "Jimmie Tramel: Something (telethon) missing on Labor Day" reflects on the demise of the annual MDA Telethon and in particular, in Jimmie's words, the "most memorable moment in the history of the MDA" when Mr. Sinatra reunited our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner Mr. Jerry Lewis."
Likes we can't tell all youse Dino-holics how perfectly pleased we are to see others continuin' to lift up that magnificant moment in Dino-history and speakin' of it is tremendously touchin' terms! The wonderous way that Mr. Tramel devotedly describes this most movin' moment in the life and times of our Dino brings indescribable joy to our hearts....fillin' it to the brim with the deepest of delight in our Dino!
And, we simply swoons at the cool conversation that our Dino and Mr. Lewis shared with each other....touchin' 'n tender dudes! We can't say 'nough of our awesome appreciato to Mr. Jimmie Tramel relivin' this most most movin' of moments in the journey of our King of Cool.
Thanks ever so much Mr. Tramel for helpin' to keep the Dino-light glowin' ever Dino-bright with this remarkable remembrance! We also thank all the pallies at Tulsa World for givin' Mr. Tramel the platform to spread such massive Dino-adulation. To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram. Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP
Jimmie Tramel: Something (telethon) missing on Labor Day
By JIMMIE TRAMEL World Scene Writer
Tulsans can welcome back an old friend, and they might miss a longtime companion on Labor Day 2015.
Welcome back: The Great Raft Race. From 1973-1991, in a race originally sponsored by radio station KRMG, rafters floated down the Arkansas River every Labor Day. At its peak, the race attracted more than 900 rafts. The race has been gone long enough for it to be missed, and it’s making a comeback in 2015.
Say goodbye to: The Labor Day Telethon, alias the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
Maybe this news slid under your radar, but the Muscular Dystrophy Association announced in May that its annual telethon was no more. There will be no farewell show in 2015. There will be no show, period.
“The decision to end our beloved telethon was not made lightly,” MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks explained.
“In the last few years, the show was adjusted to reflect changes in viewership and donor patterns, and last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge once again affirmed for us that today’s families, donors and sponsors are looking to us for new, creative and organic ways to support our mission.”
Not only was the Labor Day telethon the king of telethons (can you name another?), but also it was “the” Labor Day tradition for the television generation. You plopped down in front of the tube (if you weren’t rafting, of course) and you watched the stars come out.
If you were up for a challenge, you tried to stay awake from start to finish. The telethon started the Sunday before Labor Day and lasted 21½ hours.
If you fell asleep, you risked perhaps not seeing someone cool on the TV screen.
Who made guest appearances on the telethon? Everybody who was anybody.
Carol Burnett. Johnny Cash. Woody Allen. Stevie Wonder. Garth Brooks. Eddie Murphy. Jackie Gleason. Billy Crystal. Jerry Seinfeld. William Shatner. Cher. The Jackson 5. Milton Berle. Dolly Parton. The Rolling Stones. Robin Williams. Paul McCartney. Sammy Davis Jr. Billy Joel. Mickey Rooney. Willie Nelson. The Spice Girls. John Lennon.
You could go on and on and on.
The real-world highlight of the telethon was that it raised nearly $2 billion to help people who came to be known as “Jerry’s kids.” You can still donate if you want to surf over to mda.org.
The most memorable moment in the history of the MDA Labor Day Telethon came in 1976, when Frank Sinatra (center) arranged for Dean Martin (left) and telethon host Jerry Lewis to be reunited on stage. The comedy team of Martin and Lewis had broken up 20 years earlier
The entertainment highlight of the telethon was a feel-good moment in 1976. Frank Sinatra arranged for Lewis and Dean Martin to be reunited during the telethon broadcast. Martin and Lewis were partners in comedy before a bad breakup in 1956. They rarely spoke during the next 20 years. That’s a shame, right?
Sinatra and Lewis were on stage during the ‘76 telethon talking about the latest financial pledges when Sinatra said, “Listen, I have a friend who loves what you do every year and who just wants to come out. Would you send my friend out, please?”
Out walked Martin. The surprise would have broken Twitter, if Twitter had existed then. Martin and Lewis embraced — and Martin was careful not to burn Lewis with a lit cigarette he was holding. Martin kissed Lewis on the cheek. The studio audience responded with a standing ovation.
Dean Martin (left) and Jerry Lewis had a face-to-face reconciliation, and television viewers got to share the moment during the 1976 MDA Labor Day Telethon.
“There they are, folks,” Sinatra said, backing away so TV viewers could watch Martin and Lewis reconcile face-to-face. Their interplay was heartwarming and amusing. An excerpt:
Lewis: “Gee, it’s nice to see you.”
Martin: “I had to come in because I had to ‘go’ and this was the closest place.”
Lewis: “You always have to go.”
Martin: “I always drink.”
Lewis continued hosting the telethon until he announced his retirement from the show in May of 2011. That was the beginning of the end.
The telethon was cut to six hours in 2011, and it became a three-hour prime-time special in 2012, when it was renamed the MDA Show of Strength Telethon. In 2013 and 2014, the MDA Show of Strength became a two-hour entertainment special. Now? It exists only in memories.
People who grew up with the telethon enjoyed getting an annual visit from Lewis, his celebrity pals and Jerry’s kids.
Lewis used to sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at the close of telethons.
Even if we stopped watching somewhere along the way, we’ll still miss you.