Jerry Lewis should be a bit more specific when soliciting donations for next year's telethon: He wants your money, not your guns.
As it is, the 82-year-old entertainer apparently got a bit of both last year, claiming that the prop handgun that was seized from his baggage in Las Vegas last month, which resulted in a brief airport detention and citation for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, was actually an engraved gift given to him by a patron of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"I had a gun in my carrying case…which was given to me by a marvelous engraver," Lewis told Entertainment Tonight. "Last year, at the telethon of '07 he presented me with this gorgeous gift.
"I put it in that traveling case and I hadn't traveled since that telethon."
Screeners at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport briefly detained the original Nutty Professor on July 25, after Lewis attempted to board a flight to Detroit with the .22-caliber Beretta.
At the time, both Lewis and his manager claimed the comedian had no idea he was packing heat, albeit heat of the hollowed-out, prop variety.
"When [my manager] asked me if I had a gun, I said, 'I know what I packed'…Then it all flashed, a whole year in front of me."
As for the cops, they countered claims it was nothing more than a prop, saying if it had truly been a toy, no citation would have resulted. It clearly wasn't too serious a matter, though, as Lewis was still allowed to board his flight.
The gun itself was confiscated, however, and Lewis must attend a court hearing should he wish to get it back.