For the first time since 1966, Jerry Lewis won’t MC the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon, an event which has raised over $1 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In May, the legendary funnyman had announced that he would be retiring as the telethon’s host after doing the 2011 show, but would still continue to be the MDA’s national chairman.

But on Wednesday, MDA official R. Rodney Howell announced that Lewis will not be appearing on the telethon and will no longer be serving as MDA’s chair.

According to Howell, MDA won’t appoint another chairperson to replace Lewis, and added “Lewis is a world-class humanitarian and we’re forever grateful to him for his more than half century of generous service to MDA.”

MDA has yet to offer on explanation as to Lewis’ change in status, but the 85-year old is known to be in poor health, suffering from back pain, lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis.

[Huffington Post]