Sunday, September 02, 2007


The Telethon has begun, and as has been my custom for the past few years, I tuned in with morbid curiosity to see how awful Jerry would look this year. He actually doesn't look that bad. His appearance is nowhere near as shocking as it was two or three years ago when he entered looking bloated with an enormous head, the result of massive doses of steroids for a collapsed lung.

But he looks old and worn, even though his voice still sounds as robust as it was when he played that character he calls "The Monkey" in all those movies of his heyday.

My cool friends and I mock Jerry--and, oh Lord, Tony Orlando in New York--but the Telethon's done a good job in raising money and raising people's awareness of neuromuscular disease. So much awareness that for a week after seeing the Telethon I will say to myself, every time I trip or drop something, "Oh my God, I've got Lou Gehrig's Disease. I'm the right age for Lou Gehrig's Disease. Look at the ages of the people who died from Lou Gehrig's Disease; they're all around my age."

Jerry will be taking frequent naps during the Telethon, and so will I. Jerry has co-hosts to fill in while he's napping. I don't.

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