The MDA Telethon!
Above: Two well thought-out comments below one of the countless Jerry-Lewis-Not-Hosting-Telethon articles we were bombarded with over the last month that make the argument that Jerry somehow convinced us to give millions of dollars to fight a disease that we had no idea existed. Tell that to everyone who’s living with MD.
AS YOU KNOW, two things that annoy me are 1) those stupid articles in “Entertainment Weekly” where the 20-something gals writing for the magazine decide they know how to “fix” some television show that’s past its prime and then outline their hopelessly fannish we-know-nothing-about-television-production process step-by-step, and 2) cashiers soliciting donations for anything when I’m trying to check out at the grocery store.
Do they still do that in “Entertainment Weekly?” The fix-the-show articles, that is…? Like you, I haven’t read it in years, but they used to do that all the time. Also, you know who’s the worst on the whole “Would You Like To Donate A Dollar To Help Fight Some Disease” thing? Every single retail store in the state of Florida. Don’t believe me, go down to Florida and do some shopping.
Anyway, with that in mind, that up there, two paragraphs up, with that in mind, I’m going to tell you how MDA can fix their telethon.
First of all – did I donate anything to MDA this year? No. But let me tell you why. Because my donation would in fact cost them money.
Whether or not I actually have any money, I’m always crying poverty so none of my deadbeat pals will hit me up for a loan. So all I would be able to pledge, as far as they know, would be $5. Say I call in, pledge my five spot. Then they’ve got to send out an envelope to me, for me to send the money back in to them.
Cost of mailing this to me? 44¢ Plus the cost of the return envelope, whatever paperwork they include, and the envelope they use to send it to me – another 17¢, easy. Already, 61¢ of my $5 donation shot to hell.
Okay, then I’m on a mailing list, and they’ll be sending me these pleas for donations all year round, probably, and we both know I’m not going to send them any more money until next Labor Day, so after only eight more of these come-ons for donations, now they’re operating at a deficit as far as my donation was concerned.
No sir, better for me and MDA to not even go down that road. I’ll save them the money.
But what I will do – for free! – is fix their show so next year, they make a bunch more loot.
First we need to address the elephant in the room with the new-sock fetish: Jerry.
I love Jerry Lewis because he’s such a complete jacka– …delight. Seriously, if you know anyone even on the very fringes of show biz, you’ve heard at least one Jerry-Lewis-Acting-Like-A-Complete-Asshole story. And as my attorney points out, I’m sure none of them are true. But you’ve heard them!
That’s why those of us who do watch, watch. No one tunes into the telethon to see Jerry act sincere about “His Kids.” We tune in to see him berate the band leader, bitch out the cameraman, and call the stage manager “Eva Braun.” We’re watching because here comes some poor schmuck from the St. Louis branch of the Knights of Columbus, proud to have been selected to go to Vegas to hand Jerry, on-camera, a check for six hundred thousand dollars. He’s nervous as hell being up there, he’s been practicing his speech and doesn’t want to screw it up. But he stumbles through it anyway, largely because he’s bewildered by MDA’s spokesman who has gone cross-eyed and is sucking on the mouth of a drinking glass. It doesn’t get any better than that. Though the annual Eva Braun comparison is a close second.
But, aaah, he’s gone so you move on.
So here’s what they need to do:
Give the telethon to someone else, like Will Ferrell or, maybe Steve Carell, or – God forbid, Adam Sandler, or God in heaven forbid, Jimmy Kimmel. And yes, of course they’d love to do it, probably. MDA need only ask them.
You get someone like Ferrell or Sandler or Carell in there, they’ll bring in every other comedian around and suddenly doing the Telethon is hot again. Goodbye Norm Crosby, hello Lisa Lampanelli! For the record, though, I’ve always enjoyed Crosby’s act. It makes you think.
Also, Muppets, lots of Muppets. You cannot go wrong using Muppets.
So you’ll have all these hot talents, and even if they just submit some sort of taped bit, it’ll be something that the entire country will be tuning in for each year. The donations will be through the roof!
…Except we all have DVRs now, so we’ll be doing other stuff on Labor Day and we’ll just scan through the hilarity later, after it’s all over and everyone’s gone home. So I’m not sure about the “raising money” end of it.
But people’ll watch, and that’s the important thing, right?
Next I’ll be setting my sites on two other serious problems our once-great nation is currently facing: The bankrupt dinosaur that is the US Postal Service with its greedy, over-pensioned employees and rampant, unchecked illegal immigration. And while I don’t want to give too much away just yet, I have worked out a solution that solves both problems at once and only requires you learn how to address an envelope in Spanish.