The Muscular Dystrophy Association aired its first telethon without longtime host Jerry Lewis over the weekend, and the event had its best showing since 2008, reports USA Today.
The 46th annual Labor Day weekend event raised almost $61.5 million, about $2.6 million more than last year, according to the Associated Press.
Nigel Lythgoe, a co-host of the program and the executive producer of "American Idol," said he was sorry that Lewis didn’t participate and added that he thought the 85-year-old actor would appear either during the show or on an earlier taped segment, the story notes.
"I was fully expecting him to turn up at any point and join that six hours — and I’m sorry he didn’t," Lythgoe said, according to the AP. "And hopefully another year he might. I mean, he knows that he is always welcome on the telethon. It’s his baby."
During Lewis’ 45-year run on the program, he helped raise $1.66 billion for the MDA, the piece notes.