LAST CALL: MDA: Laugh? Thought we'd never start

Celebrity gaffe, Part I: At the urging of the Muscular Dystrophy

Association (MDA), Jerry Lewis has issued an apology after an appearance

on the CBS Morning Show in which he called disabled people cripples and

told them to stay at home if they do not want to be pitied.

The extraordinary outburst was all the more surprising because Lewis is

pitchman for the MDA and was voted "the most familiar celebrity

promoting a charity or cause" in a recent poll (PRWeek, May 21).

Lewis, a 50-year leader of MDA telethons and the organization's national

chairman said his "cripple" statement was made in error and said of his

original comments: "It is certainly not how I feel. I admire people with


This was not the first time Lewis has lost control of his funny


At the Aspen US Comedy Festival last year, he suggested that female

comics should make children, not jokes.

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