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Healthy Jerry Lewis ready to return to Vegas

Comedian set for four-night comeback engagement at Orleans in July
/ Source: Reuters

Comedian Jerry Lewis is set to return this summer to the Orleans Hotel and Casino for his first live Las Vegas performance since his health took a turn for the worse six years ago, his publicist said Friday.

Lewis, 80, is booked for a four-night comeback engagement from July 13 to 16 at the Orleans Showroom, where he was a regular fixture before various medical problems sidelined the veteran entertainer, spokeswoman Candi Cazau told Reuters.

His old, 2 1/2-hour stage act featured a combination of singing, comedy, dancing and pratfalls, but Cazau said his new show would likely be somewhat less physically demanding.

“We don’t know what kind of show’s he doing,” she said.

Lewis returned home in January 2004 from a three-month hospital stay where he had been admitted to undergo a managed withdrawal from the steroid prednisone, which he had been taking for a chronic lung ailment, pulmonary fibrosis.

He has not performed at the Orleans since 2000, Cazau said, adding that Lewis had shed all the excess weight he had gained from the steroid treatments.

“He’s down to 176 pounds,” she said. “He took off every pound from that damned prednisone.”

Lewis also plans to bring his annual Labor Day telethon for muscular dystrophy back to Las Vegas, hosting this year’s show Sept. 3-4 at the South Coast Hotel and Casino, Cazau said.

He also recently taped two episodes as a guest star on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” for next season, and in March celebrated his birthday in Paris by receiving his second French Legion of Honor medal, that nation’s highest civilian honor.