Las Vegas Ever not-so tactful, comedian Jerry Lewis says he's excited to host his annual telethon for muscular dystrophy in Las Vegas - and then takes a poke at the former venues in Los Angeles, the telethon's home for the last decade.
"There's something about Los Angeles that subjugates it," Lewis, 80, said Thursday on the set at the South Coast hotel-casino south of the Las Vegas Strip. "I always feel like I'm claustrophobic there."
The Labor Day telethon, which has raised $1.35 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. since 1966, had taken a back seat over the years to other productions at the CBS lot in Los Angeles, said association spokesman Bob Mackle.
The show has been held in Las Vegas for 21 of its 40 years. Last year it raised $54.9 million, an 8 percent drop from a year earlier, mainly blamed on the shock of Hurricane Katrina. The goal every year is to raise one dollar more than the year before.
This year's lineup features many performers who have regular shows on the Strip, such as Celine Dion, Lance Burton, Clint Holmes, Rita Rudner and George Wallace. Others participating include Larry King, William Shatner, Donald Trump and the Goo Goo Dolls.
The telethon will be broadcast on Sunflower Broadband channels 5 and 13, starting at 10:30 p.m. Sunday.