We conclude our narcissistic and lazy anniversary commemoration with this second and final encore presentation - a timely Labor Day entry dedicated to the show business legend that is Jerry Lewis. Taking Jerry away from us this weekend is like removing Santa from Christmas (sorry, this is a secular site,) Obama from May Day (he is a Communist, right? That’s what I keep reading) or the Little Rascals from Arbor Day (an extremely obscure and specific reference so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.)
Perhaps there may exist no one, even in the exceedingly conceited confines of the entertainment arena, who exhibits a larger ego, a more annoying nature and who could possibly be more legendarily difficult to deal with. But, with all that being said, this is a person who’s also given decades of his life to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and should be respected and admired for doing so. And so we honor a man who has experienced much dishonor of late; a man who gives and gives and gives... until you give him credit. A man who gives and gives and gives until it hurts… any sense of proper decorum, good taste and our sensibilities. Who gives and gives and gives until it hurts… us to have to watch him. We pay tribute to a superstar who has made dozens, nay, hundreds laugh with naught but a well-timed, “lady!” or a pair of prosthetic buck teeth and an overtly, offensive Asian accent, Of course, I kid Jerry as he’s known to take it so well. And to the board of the MDA, who removed Jerry from this event and his chairmanship, I do seriously say - how dare you? Jerry should be permitted to draw his final breath on the stage of the MDA Labor Day telethon if that is what he wishes - it’s not as if he hasn’t died on television before (rimshot.)
Finally, we also recognize late manic comedian, Charlie Callas who, since the initial posting of this piece, has left us for the great comedy club in the clouds.
A Musical Salute
“The end of labor is to gain leisure” - Aristotle
“You get up every morning
From your alarm clock's warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There's a whistle up above
And people pushing, people shoving" - Randy Bachman
While it is a widely held belief that the Labor Day holiday was created by, mercurial comedy legend, Jerry Lewis in order to facilitate once-yearly television appearances for show business pals Norm Crosby, Jack Jones and Charo - coochi, coochi - this, in fact, is not the case. Let’s let the U.S. Department of Labor shed some light.
“Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Well said, Department of Labor, we’ll miss you when the tea-baggers take over, but for now, this is a day to salute all of the working people. Let the Republicans cater to the top 1% wealthy ruling class, they may have the other 364 days - but today, break out that Kingsford charcoal or charge that Samsung 55 inch 3D LED TV, half off today and today only, at PC Richards, or sit stewing and cursing in your Camry stuck for 6 desperate hours in teeming turnpike traffic, just for the pleasure of spending barely 2 hours on an almost lethally crowded beach - because this is your day. Let the plutocracy eat cake!
In 1894, 22nd and 24th President of the United States, Grover Cleveland proclaimed the first Monday of every subsequent September - Labor Day. Of course, if such a notion of celebrating “labor” and the “worker” was proffered today it would, no doubt, be portrayed as further evidence of the evil, creeping, Kenyan, Muslim, Obama Socialism and most likely would never survive a Senate filibuster.
To all of those who did toil today so that the majority of workers who did not could enjoy their leisure time even more fully - to the waitresses, bartenders, bus drivers, cabbies, store clerks, chefs and so on and so on - we extend our gratitude and appreciation.
So, thanks Charlie Callas, and kudos Amazing Kreskin, and much appreciation Buddy Greco - we crave your annual visits. Most of all, thank you, Jerry Lewis. You may be, perhaps, a tad intense at times but we value the many years of good charitable work as well as your urbane comedy stylings - the long-flamed lighter burning the nose hairs bit never gets old. But at this time of tragically high unemployment - when Congressional Republicans block job bill after job bill, delay legitimately earned unemployment benefits and refer to jobless workers in terms such as "lazy" and "hobos," it's particularly appropriate to recognize and thank America's work force.