Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My Performing Arts Fix

When I was a kid, there were four ways to see singing and dancing on TV: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Miss America, the Tony awards, and the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. And of the four, the telethon was my favorite (yes, more than Miss America, believe it or not, I was only rooting for Texas). It marked the end of summer, and while I loved summer vacation, I always looked forward to going back to school. It aired overnight, which meant that I got to stay up late (but not as late as my brother - I'm pretty sure he watched THE WHOLE TELETHON at least once). And the musical performances were so varied - I mean, Charo was on the telethon! And ventriloquists and plate spinners and singers and baton twirlers! I loved it. Really and truly loved it.
I remember the first time I gave money to MDA. I don't think I saved up my allowance - more likely, I asked my mom if I could give the money and she just took care of it. But I was five or six, and I called in, and somehow they misunderstood my name and I was announced on the air as Armando. I think I was pretty upset at the time.

Now, with American Idol and Glee and Dancing with the Stars and America's Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance... I can't even tell you the last time I watch the telethon. Plus, didn't it used to be on every station at once? Now it's on some crap cable channel. Sorry, Jerry.

The Jerry Lewis MDA telethon, mid-80s - B+
the telethon now - C-

1 comment:

Senor Fuerte said...

You give me far too much credit...I don't think I ever made it past 1 or 2 a.m.

The Jerry Lewis Sob-a-thon doesn't have the cache it used to. Ed's gone, Frankie's gone, Sammy's gone...the glamour's gone. Plus, the South Pointe Casino? They used to hold this thing at Caesar's, baby!