The first Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon was held the weekend of
September 4-5, 1966; it was staged at New York’s Americana Hotel and
carried by WNEW-TV. Lewis continued to host the show until 2010. From
1966 to 2010, the telethon was seen for up to 21½ hours, starting on the
Sunday evening preceding Labor Day and continuing until late Monday
afternoon. The show has originated from Las Vegas for 28 of the 45
years it has aired.
The upcoming 2012 edition, now renamed the MDA Show of Strength
and scheduled for Sunday, September 2, 2012, is slated to be further
reduced to three hours, for prime-time broadcast.
"Rambin’ Rod" Anders hosted local telethon segments on KPTV for
31 years. He died in May 2002.