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Muscular Dystrophy Telethon to Air Live From South Point Casino

Muscular Dystrophy Telethon to Air Live From South Point Casino Las Vegas

The MDA Telethon, hosted by Jerry Lewis, has become an annual television institution, and this year, the show will be broadcast live from the South Point Casino here in Las Vegas.

Singer Tony Orlando will be contributing from New York, but the bulk of the show will be live from South Point’s 22,000-square-foot ballroom. This will allow many the city’s performers to take part in the charity broadcast without worrying about having to miss one of their own shows.

Scheduled to appear during the non-stop telecast are the Flying Elvi, who open the show on Sunday, September 2nd, at 6pm (PT) and Celine Dion, who closes the show around 2pm (PT) on Monday, September 3rd.

In between, Sahara headliners Matsuri, Flamingo headliner George Wallace, Luxor headliner Ronn Lucas, Excalibur headliner Louie Anderson, Mandalay Bay’s “Mamma Mia!” cast, the Riviera’s “Ice: Direct From Russia,” Luxor headliner Carrot Top, Monte Carlo magician Lance Burton and Tony Danza of “The Producers” at Paris Las Vegas will all lend their time and talents to raising money for the cause.

First broadcast over Labor Day weekend in 1966 by just one TV station in New York City, the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon hosted by popular comedian Jerry Lewis quickly caught the public’s attention – and raised more than $1 million. Now, the 42nd year of the show will be broadcast on 190 “MDA Love Network” stations across the country and Lewis says he hopes this year’s event will surpass last year’s record $61 million raised for the charity.

Joining Lewis and Orlando during the almost 22 hour telethon will be co-hosts Jann Carl of “Entertainment Tonight,” country singer Billy Gilman, Tom Bergeron of “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Videos” and Alison Sweeney of “Days of our Lives” and “The Biggest Loser.” Ed McMahon will anchor the entire telethon, for his 40th year.

If you want to see the telethon live, there will be free tickets given away at South Point on a first-come basis starting at 5:30pm on Sunday (Sept. 2) and running on a revolving basis (meaning as people leave, seats and tickets will become available again) until 1:30 the following day. But if you hope to see Celine Dion live, for free, you might just want to get there Sunday and bring lots of caffeine to stay awake until she performs on Monday afternoon, to guarantee you get a seat.

And if you can’t make it to Vegas to see the telethon in person, the MDA website has a listing of channels that will air the event. You’ll also be able to watch the show online courtesy of RealNetworks.