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Comedians, ‘Disgusted’ by Ouster of Jerry Lewis From MDA Telethon, Gather in Show of Support for Veteran Funnyman

Aug 8, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Angry comedians turned out Friday in a show of support for Jerry Lewis, who was dismissed Wednesday night as the host and national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Labor Day Telethon, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker blog.

Jamie Masada, the owner of Hollywood’s Laugh Factory, said he was "disgusted" by the ouster, noting, "I can’t describe how hurt I am, how hurt every comedian is," the story says.

The comedians gathered at the Laugh Factory for a news conference to show their support. Those attending included Paul Rodriguez, Larry Miller, Tom Dreesen, French comedian Mustapha El Atrassi and 83-year-old Norm Crosby, who the story notes co-hosted the telethon with Lewis for more than a quarter of a century.

Rodriguez said other comedians including Dave Chappelle and Kevin Pollak had called or emailed to show their support, the story says.

Crosby called MDA’s dismissal of Lewis, 85, "cruel" and "abrupt," the story says. The Laugh Factory plans a rival fund raiser on Labor Day weekend, with the proceeds to be donated to research for muscular dystrophy, the piece notes.

A spokesman for the MDA declined to comment.

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