The Muscular Dystrophy Telethon is must-see TV watching during the Labor Day weekend, an end-of-summer tradition in the U.S. since it first began in New York City in 1954.
Now an entertainment extravaganza airing live from Los Angeles, the show for many years featured the much-loved actor and comedian Jerry Lewis rallying public support in the battle to combat muscular dystrophy, a crippling disease which currently has no known cure.
In a major announcement last year, it was revealed that after more than four decades the 85-year-old Lewis would be stepping down as the major host for the show.
As Lewis himself would say, "the show must go on" as 2012 marks the 47th Annual Labor Day Telethon.
With last year's shakeup continuing to reverberate, the MDA announced in February that the 2012 telethon would be cut short from last year's already curtailed 6 hours to 3 hours this year --beginning at 8PM ET on Sunday, September 2.
MDA Labor Day Telethon Stars
Other artists participating in the three-hour telecast include Gavin DeGraw, Alanis Morissette, Paula Abdul, Hot Chelle Rae, Carole King, OneRepublic and Jesse McCartney, among others. The show will include performances from Nashville, Hollywood and New York, as well as celebrity appearances by Khloe Kardashian Odom, Nancy O'Dell and Alison Sweeney.
Nationwide, the telethon usually creates an outpouring of support from a big-hearted American public who in 2011 helped raise almost $61 million in pledges & contributions for both service and research programs of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Will 2012 prove to be another record-breaking year for muscular dystrophy research and support? Stay tuned ..