What has 10,000 legs and can’t walk?
No one gets that joke anymore because the Jerry Lewis telethons ended in 2010 but before that the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) aired a telethons every Labor Day weekend and Jerry Lewis hosted it. It would air live 24 hours a day for three days.
Children with muscular dystrophy were lovingly referred to as Jerry’s kids. When I was a child and people asked me what my disability was they didn’t understand until I finally said, “I’m a Jerry’s kid.”
After he was taken off air we became a part of history. New textbooks on disabled studies talk about us and I’ve got to tell you it’s really weird to read about yourself in a history book.
I was very lucky/unlucky to live in Northern California which is the only place they held the camp for children with muscular dystrophy, we just called it MDA camp. It only lasted a week each summer and so few girls get this disease that we always got a cabin to ourselves. Some pretty not great stuff happened there but I would go through it all again because the first time I ever felt normal is when I got to see those girls each summer.
It was even enough to make up for the year that they took footage of me laughing at the camp and then played it on the telethon in slow motion to sad music. Without anyone’s consent or previous knowledge. I’ve got to tell you it’s really weird to see yourself in live inspirational porn.
We all hated Jerry Lewis.
He was making a living off of us. We are literally one of the textbook cases about how corporate charities and funding for “cures” were nothing but snake oil.
Here are some of my favorite Jerry Lewis quotes:
“I’m telling you about a child in trouble. If it’s pity, we’ll get some money.”
“Pity? If you don’t want to be pitied because you’re a cripple in a wheelchair, stay in your house!”
“God goofed, and it’s up to us to correct His mistakes.”
“Do they want to talk to the 135,000 who are afflicted, who call me their hero? They’ll get killed. And what about the S.O.B.s who come to you and say, ‘How much do you get out of this action?’ You have to smile, because they have capital punishment in most states.”
Burn in Hell you piece of shit.