The recent passing of Jerry Lewis hit home over the weekend. As we cobble together money and supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, it’s fitting to remember the man who introduced the concept of televised crowdsourcing to generations of families every September.
My formative years were spent huddled around the TV set for two days each year to watch The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. I didn’t know Mr. Lewis through the genius he displayed as part of the legendary comedy team of Martin & Lewis. I wasn’t aware of his impressive resume as a writer, director and producer of cutting-edge films he made later in his career. I simply knew him as the goofy ringmaster of that 21-hour variety show that helped so many people with muscular dystrophy.