Jerry Lewis Won’t Appear At This Year’s MDA Telethon

TUCSON, Ariz. — Comedian Jerry Lewis is no longer serving as the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s national chairman and won’t be appearing on this year’s Labor Day telethon, the nonprofit agency announced Wednesday night.

Lewis, 85, has been the MDA’s national chairman since the early 1950s and has hosted the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon since 1966.

He announced in May that he was retiring as host of the telethon that has become synonymous with his name. But Lewis added that he planned to make his final appearance on this year’s Sept. 4, show and planned on continuing to serve as MDA’s national chairman.

MDA Chairman of the Board R. Rodney Howell said in a statement that Lewis “will not be appearing on the telethon” and “we will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman.”

Howell added that Lewis “is a world-class humanitarian and we’re forever grateful to him for his more than half century of generous service to MDA.”

The statement did not provide any further explanation for the moves, and calls to the Tucson, Ariz,-based nonprofit weren’t immediately returned Wednesday night. Representatives for Lewis, a publicist and a manager, also did not immediately respond to messages left for comment.

Lewis, a Las Vegas resident, has in recent years battled a debilitating back condition, heart issues and the crippling lung disease pulmonary fibrosis.

MDA officials said more than $1 billion has been raised during Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons over the years and a national network of some 200 hospital-affiliated clinics has opened since Lewis became involved in the telethon.

Lewis’ first live Labor Day weekend telethon in 1966 was broadcast by a single New York City television station. It raised more than $1 million in pledges.

The telethon moved from New York to Las Vegas in 1973 and had stints in Los Angeles before returning in 2006 to Las Vegas.

Last year’s Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon aired from the South Coast hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip and was broadcast by more than 170 stations. It raised almost $59 million to fund research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy and ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The live telethon usually lasts 21 1/2 hours. Sometimes Lewis would sing or tell lighthearted jokes. He introduced guests and other performers like a ringmaster. Sometimes, he turned serious and shared stories of people afflicted by the disease or who were helped by the association. All the while, he urged donors to contribute while a tote board rang up pledge totals.

Some telethon moments have made history.

In Las Vegas during the 1976 telethon, Lewis was reunited by Frank Sinatra with Dean Martin, with whom the comedian had an acrimonious split 20 years earlier. The famous entertainer best known for his slapstick humor first teamed with Martin in the 1940s to play nightclubs and television shows and to make a series of comedy films.

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Online:

Muscular Dystrophy Association, http://mdausa.org

WATCH: Playful Puppy Fakes His Own Death

Dear adorable pup faking your own death: we admit it, we tried to ignore you for as long as possible. After all, there’s been such a wealth of cute animals this week at Urlesque HQ that we thought we couldn’t possibly take any more.

But as time went by and we kept running into you all over the Internet, we crumbled. With your cute trick and your happy strut, we can’t turn the other way anymore.

So go on, cute pup, fake your own death a few more times. We’ll be watching.

WATCH:

Mel Demands Quality Time With Daughter

Mel Gibson wants more quality time with his little girl — and in order to get it … he’s demanding a change to his child custody agreement with Oksana Grigorieva.

Sources connected to the former couple tell TMZ Mel has filed a request with the court … for additional overnight visits with 1-year-old Lucia.

Under the current agreement … Mel gets 3 overnights with Lucia every 2 weeks.

Andrew Shapter: Singer Mates with Wild Ape in Controversial Video

According to the script from the new movie, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” scientists have accidentally boosted apes’ intelligence, testosterone and pheromone levels, rendering them irresistible to beautiful women.

Is this really possible? Yes, it is.

I saw it in a video called “Chocolate,” from Erin Ivey & The Finest Kind. It’s a hilarious new video that you definitely won’t want to show Grandma.

Ladies, you’ve been warned: there are horny apes on the loose, and they’re out to seduce you!

Charlie Sheen Joining Major Reality Show?

UPDATE: A rep for Sheen denies to The Hollywood Reporter that he’ll appear on “Celebrity Big Brother.”
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PREVIOUSLY:
Over the past nine months, Charlie Sheen has broadcast his every move, from porn star romps to drug binges to world touring, through his Twitter and endless media interviews. If rumors are correct, he’ll up that exposure even more, going live 24/7.

The UK Independent reports that Sheen will headline the upcoming eleventh season of the massive UK reality hit, “Celebrity Big Brother,” in which a number of past and B-List stars are cast together in a house and have their every move monitored and broadcast online and on TV. Sheen, they point out, would be the biggest star to ever grace the show; the past few seasons have included Ivana Trump, Sisqo, Stephen Baldwin, LaToya Jackson, Dennis Rodman and Coolio, as well as names much more familiar to British audiences.

Channel 5, the network broadcasting the show this upcoming season, didn’t comment on Sheen specifically, but didn’t deny it, either.

Sheen, who was dismissed from “Two and a Half Men” at the end of the last shortened season for his wild antics, including radio rants in which he insulted creator Chuck Lorre; drug binges; and TV interviews with his then-“Goddess” girlfriends.

He will come back to TV in a sitcom version of the film “Anger Management,” though no network has been chosen for the production.

For more on “Celebrity Big Brother,” click over to the UK Independent.

Kristin McCracken: Point Blank: What Would You Do?

What if the woman you loved was suddenly at the mercy of a sadistic band of criminals? Check out Fred Cavayé‘s adrenaline-fueled thrill ride through the streets and subways of Paris.

Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Say you’re an ordinary guy, going through your ordinary day, when suddenly your pregnant wife is in danger and you’re at the mercy of a band of feuding gangsters. What would you do to protect the one you love? Throw in a squad of cops who may or may not be on the right side of the law, and you’ve got the simple scenario that is the premise of Fred Cavayé’s second feature, Point Blank (TFF 2011).

Cavayé’s breakneck thriller takes the viewer on an adrenaline-fueled ride through the streets of Paris, and stars newly-minted French star Gilles Lellouche as our Everyman Samuel; the charismatic Roschdy Zem as the menacing criminal Sartet; and the magnetic Elena Anaya as the mother-to-be Nadia. We recently caught up with Cavayé on the eve of Point Blank’s U.S. release.

Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Director Fred Cavayé / Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

KMc: What inspired you to tell this story? How did the idea come to you?

Fred Cavayé: It actually sort of builds on my first film. In the last half-hour, my first film had one of these very tense sequences where everyone — including the viewer — was very much involved. So I decided to expand it: in this case we have a film that’s 90 minutes long in which someone who would normally take time to think before he acts has no time to think before he acts. He moves immediately from thinking to acting. I wanted a film that would be very entertaining, and also one that would really grab the spectator, make them feel like they were part of it.

Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

KMc: It certainly does that. Does an Everyman being caught up in a thriller excite you more than, say, a CIA agent in danger?

FC: Yes, I think it’s really important for the viewer to identify with the main character, and I think it’s also easier to really identify with someone who’s ordinary — with a nurse more than, say, a CIA agent. And I think making him an ordinary person also adds a human dimension that’s very important, because then the viewer has two times the fear when they are watching, wondering what’s going to happen to the character. To be an entertaining film, that’s all part of it.

Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

KMc: You played with gender roles in this film, somewhat, by having the protagonist be a nurse, and depicting very strong female police officers. Can you just talk a little bit about that?

FC: I’m very interested in this question of role reversal, and what does it do then for the plot? So often I will write a role for a man, and then I think: What would it be like to give this role to a woman? I think it’s particularly interesting with the bad characters — because say you have a villain who’s played by a man, it’s mainly a physical kind of thing, whereas if the villain is then transformed into a role played by a woman, it adds another dimension to it, a psychological dimension.

KMc: Maybe next time you will have a female gangster lead. That would be cool.

FC: Perhaps instead of a female gangster, a female hero! At the moment I am working on a number of screenplays, and in one of them, the main character is a woman, and it’s the woman who has to fight to save the person she loves.

Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

KMc: What’s it like to film action scenes on the streets and subways of Paris? Are Parisians like New Yorkers: do they just get irritated? Or are they fascinated by seeing a movie being filmed?

FC: Actually, no, the Parisians react pretty much the same way that New Yorkers do. They are annoyed — the streets are blocked, the roads are blocked, they can’t travel — so I think it’s probably the same reaction. And it’s rather complicated to shoot, for example, in Paris, because you need authorizations in order to be able to do everything, so there’s really no room for improvisation here. Everything really has to be anticipated and thought through before you begin the shooting. So for example, in the shots in the subway — all the people you see there are extras; they are not just people in the background. When we shot in the Metro, we shot in the hours that the Metro is closed, which is between 1 am and 5 am.

Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

KMc: In New York, our subways never close, so there is not that option.

FC: So the next film I’m going to shoot in New York! [laughs]


Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

KMc: What American directors have influenced you? Which directors are you a fan of?

FC: Of course I was influenced by a lot of American filmmaking, but for me the major one was The Godfather, which is really the bible of that type of film. I have also seen and really like a lot of the newer films, the newer generation of directors — for example, James Gray, who I think is really a wonderful director.

The thing is, I have just as much influence from French films. I think that my filmmaking is really a good combination of something like a Claude Sautet film plus the Jason Bourne trilogy; it’s really a good mix.

Point Blank: Fred Cavayé
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

KMc: It really does translate very well. I watched this with my husband, who loves action movies but isn’t a big fan of subtitles — and he was riveted. So thanks for opening his mind a bit!

FC: [laughs] Well, it does have very little dialogue. Voila!

Want more? Read the entire interview at TribecaFilm.com.

Point Blank is now playing. Find tickets.

Watch the trailer:

WATCH: Apathetic Bird Doesn’t Care

Some days, there is not a thing on this planet you could be prevailed upon to care about. Deadlines? Screw em. Groceries? You’ll get some later. Being practical is for other people.

This bird epitomizes that life view.

Sure, it might be raining, and there might be natural predators within a foot of his body, but he is going to sit on this windshield wiper no matter what. Because he can.

Right on, bird. Right on.

WATCH:

Via Viral Viral Videos

Al Pacino’s Daughter Arrested For DUI

NEW YORK — The 21-year-old daughter of actor Al Pacino has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in New York City.

Police say Julie Pacino was stopped at a traffic checkpoint on West Houston (HOW’-ston) Street in Manhattan at 1:05 a.m. Saturday.

Police say Pacino’s blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit for driving. Her exact blood-alcohol level was not immediately available.

Pacino is being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex pending arraignment. No information on an attorney was immediately available.

Julie Pacino is Al Pacino’s daughter with acting coach Jan Tarrant. An agent for the actor didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

Julie Pacino graduated from Tappan Zee High School in suburban Rockland County in 2007 and went on to the University of California at Los Angeles. She was a softball standout at both schools.