Jerry Lewis Raises Record $64M

Eclipses last year's total by $3 million to help fight Muscular Dystrophy
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2007 7:17 AM CDT
Jerry Lewis performs during the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon in Beverly Hills, Calif.on Sept. 5, 2005. Lewis' telethon for muscular dystrophY, which aired from Las Vegas last year, will be back in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Comedian Jerry Lewis certainly didn't take the day off: his 42nd Labor Day telethon yesterday pulled in a record $64 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. "We did it. We did it. We can go shopping," enthused the 81-year-old showman after pulling in $3 million more than last year's high. The event has raised $1.46 billion since its 1966 inception.

Firefighter fundraiser campaigns supplied a big chunk of the total. Their $25.2 million donation outdid last year's efforts by nearly $2 million. Lewis was as enthusiastic as ever, despite spending part of the 21.5-hour show behind a desk. "We'll be here every year as long as I'm breathing in and out," he assured the Las Vegas audience.