Every Labor Day weekend for more than 40 years, Jerry Lewis hosted the MDA Telethon from Las Vegas, joined by friends like Ed McMahon and Don Rickles. The show featured comedy, music and Lewis’ wacky stage riffing; over the years, it raised more than $2 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Lewis stopped hosting the show in 2010 and died in 2017, but Wednesday, the Muscular Dystrophy Association announced the telethon will return with comedian Kevin Hart.
The MDA Kevin Hart Kids telethon will air for two hours on Saturday, October 24th at 8 p.m. (streaming partners will be announced later), supporting both the MDA and Hart’s Help from the Hart charity, which supports underserved communities. Hart will be joined by celebrity guests including Jack Black, Usain Bolt, Josh Gad, Michael B. Jordan, Eva Longoria, Jillian Mercado and more.
The event is meant to “drive mass awareness and charitable contributions to help transform the lives of children with disabilities and disadvantages,” the MDA said in an announcement, adding that the show will feature comedy and live performances, plus profiles on families facing the struggles the charities support.
There’s also a gaming component: MDA is an active member of the gaming community, the company described in a release, through its MDA Let’s Play gaming platform, where those living with muscular diseases can form connections over gaming. The organization will host gaming events on Twitch, starting September 12th, every Saturday until the final marathon stream. Each week will feature top gaming influencers and showcase games like Fortnite, Fall Guys and Minecraft.
“This is an incredible opportunity to bring the work of Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association forward. I’m honored to collaborate with MDA and my organization, to educate and entertain the public about the need to support people with disabilities and disadvantages, because we are all in this together,” Kevin Hart said in a release. “I can’t wait to have an incredible night for two critically important causes that are in urgent need of funding and hope.”