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They were the unlikeliest of pairs — a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, N.J.. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records on stage. But the moment they got together, something clicked—someth They were the unlikeliest of pairs — a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, N.J.. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records on stage. But the moment they got together, something clicked—something miraculous—and audiences saw it at once. Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end—and then, on July 24, 1956, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended. After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers—Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies—their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart. In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a fifty-year friendship, from the springtime, 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man. In Dean and Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great — and most underrated — comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.


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They were the unlikeliest of pairs — a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, N.J.. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records on stage. But the moment they got together, something clicked—someth They were the unlikeliest of pairs — a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, N.J.. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records on stage. But the moment they got together, something clicked—something miraculous—and audiences saw it at once. Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end—and then, on July 24, 1956, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended. After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers—Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies—their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart. In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a fifty-year friendship, from the springtime, 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man. In Dean and Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great — and most underrated — comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.

30 review for Dean and Me: A Love Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Juls

    As someone who's worked with Mr. Lewis for the past 18 years, I was very curious as to his career and his career with partner Dean Martin. This book certainly documents their meteoric rise to fame and all the love and difficulties these two amazingly talented men had during their 10 year partnership. Jerry worships Dean and that love and affection is unwavering. It's a quick and interesting read about two of showbiz's greatest music/comedy teams. As someone who's worked with Mr. Lewis for the past 18 years, I was very curious as to his career and his career with partner Dean Martin. This book certainly documents their meteoric rise to fame and all the love and difficulties these two amazingly talented men had during their 10 year partnership. Jerry worships Dean and that love and affection is unwavering. It's a quick and interesting read about two of showbiz's greatest music/comedy teams.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Jerry Lewis passed away last year. Dean Martin had gone ahead by a few years as he died in 1995. I know a few of us here are old enough to remember both these entertainers. Some (like me) will recall (at least a little) the team of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. I recall them mostly from their movies but I have seen some recordings of them simply...doing their thing. If you read this book (and I can recommend you do) you'll be told by Jerry how unique they were in their act. How they were a funny t Jerry Lewis passed away last year. Dean Martin had gone ahead by a few years as he died in 1995. I know a few of us here are old enough to remember both these entertainers. Some (like me) will recall (at least a little) the team of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. I recall them mostly from their movies but I have seen some recordings of them simply...doing their thing. If you read this book (and I can recommend you do) you'll be told by Jerry how unique they were in their act. How they were a funny that was at the top when stand-up comedy was in it's heyday. During the time when we were moving from the older Vaudeville and Burlesque comics and comedy duos into the day of Woody Allen and Johnny Carson they were somewhat unique and..."they were side splitting". Look up some of their bits on youtube yourself, really try their comedy yourself. This is the story of their time as a team as told by Jerry Lewis. As happened so often when they broke up their friendship was in ruins and would never recover. Of course that is common knowledge but here you'll get it from the point of view of a participant. Is it subjective? Of course. Jerry does "seem to" do his best to take the lion's share of the blame. It's true that at the time a lot of publicity was from the point of view that there's the funny one everyone wants to see...and then there's the singer. If they broke up Jerry would go on and be funnt but the singer would be, well lost. Jerry here tells the story with a view to saying how great Dean was and how it's understandable that he'd get sick of that. He tells us of how he screwed up "accidentally" and made things worse...several times. Still in the telling we'll hear the things Dean did like the passive aggressive moves and the silent reprisals of their last months. As a kid I thought Jerry Lewis was the height of "humor" of "funnyness" as it were. BUT as I got older I found his antics less funny. Maybe the country did to as the '60s rolled on into the disillusioned '70s. Jerry mentions the time when his movies seemed to stop bringing in audiences. They both appeared on TV during this time and Dean had a long running variety TV program. Dean also made a good number of movies. Here in the book Jerry mentions how Dean loved westerns. If you know your western movies you know that Martin did several good westerns...a couple with John Wayne which according to Lewis would have been a dream come true for Dean. Okay, I "liked" this book. I do date back so I knew of these men and had watched their work. Maybe that added to my interest. Still I can recommend this one. It's interesting, funny, and bitter sweet. Try it for yourself. Again, recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christy B

    My reading of this book has been long overdue and I don't know what took me so long. I can't express just how surprised I was by this book; I expected a lot of bullshit, but I was wrong. The honesty in this book was almost shocking; Jerry didn't hold back. I love the funny stories of him and Dean in the early part of their partnership and marked a few of them to go back and read when I need a laugh. Jerry Lewis has always made me laugh with his Idiot shtick and he made me laugh with the written My reading of this book has been long overdue and I don't know what took me so long. I can't express just how surprised I was by this book; I expected a lot of bullshit, but I was wrong. The honesty in this book was almost shocking; Jerry didn't hold back. I love the funny stories of him and Dean in the early part of their partnership and marked a few of them to go back and read when I need a laugh. Jerry Lewis has always made me laugh with his Idiot shtick and he made me laugh with the written word. The admiration and love he had for Dean is unmistakable. He was just as mad as anyone that Dean wasn't getting the respect he deserved. Dean was always a clever and masterful comedian, but in a way that was subtle. He could spew off one-liners without even thinking about it. The honesty and the love that went into this book is well worth five-stars. The last chapter and afterword had me in tears. Bravo, Jerry.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brooklyn Tayla

    This was a re read for me, once I heard of Jerry Lewis’s passing I knew I had to get this book out and re experience the emotions; Martin and Lewis are it for me as far as stand up comedy goes, their routine of the monkey and the swooner are priceless and never fail to make me laugh, so it’s no surprise that I would often re watch their movies and comedy hours. Their chemistry is perfection and honestly it made me tear up reading Lewis’s words about their final film, Pardners, and how fractured This was a re read for me, once I heard of Jerry Lewis’s passing I knew I had to get this book out and re experience the emotions; Martin and Lewis are it for me as far as stand up comedy goes, their routine of the monkey and the swooner are priceless and never fail to make me laugh, so it’s no surprise that I would often re watch their movies and comedy hours. Their chemistry is perfection and honestly it made me tear up reading Lewis’s words about their final film, Pardners, and how fractured their relationship was then. To me, they were always the big brother and little kid act, Dean being all smooth and effortless, Jerry goofing around and making a mess out of things. And like Magic, it was amazing to watch, and it still is. This book, for me, honestly contained so many emotions, it was honest writing and it had zero sugar coating to it, there was honestly, love, enthusiasm, passion and so much more; you could honestly tell how deeply Jerry admired Dean and how much he relied on him; see, Jerry found himself lonely quite a bit, and really relied on Dean for many things; and I think it worked both ways; even though Dean might not have expressed it so easily. In this book, Jerry rebuffs the rumours and cliches that were always associated with his comedy partner; for Dean wasn’t the drunk he was portrayed as. He was simply a family man who loved golf and western movies. What was conveyed the most here in this book, and what felt the most natural and earnest was how much this book conveyed Jerry’s absolute love and immense devotion to Dino. There was so much enthusiasm and emotion about his partner, from his first impression of him to when they were starting to split up, you could honestly feel Jerry’s pain, and his immense devastation when he heard his partner passed away. However, I do think Martin and Lewis are immortal as far as comedy goes, and who doesn’t love Dean Martin as a singer? Utterly amazing and a perfect memoir, it felt like I was having tea with Lewis, just an honest to good heart to heart with a friend. And that concludes my review, honestly I could keep ranting but I definitely recommend this book. I must also say how much Jerry talks about Sinatra, who was crucial in getting these two old friends to reunite. Jerry also speaks highly of him, they were longtime friends too. Okay, review concluded, happy reading 🙂

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    Before reading this, if anyone would have told me that I would have given a book co-written by Jerry Lewis a high rating, I would have thought that person crazy. I have never cared for Jerry Lewis as a performer, and hearing stories about his foul temper during my college years in the 70's cemented my avoidance. In fact, I can't tell you what possessed me to buy this book ... other than an appreciation for Dean Martin's television show. Well, perhaps with age comes wisdom. I was blown away by th Before reading this, if anyone would have told me that I would have given a book co-written by Jerry Lewis a high rating, I would have thought that person crazy. I have never cared for Jerry Lewis as a performer, and hearing stories about his foul temper during my college years in the 70's cemented my avoidance. In fact, I can't tell you what possessed me to buy this book ... other than an appreciation for Dean Martin's television show. Well, perhaps with age comes wisdom. I was blown away by this book. What I had imagined would be a self-serving attempt at justification turned out to be a fascinating retelling of what must have been one of the most amazing entertainment partnerships. The "cut to the chase" approach keeps the details moving and kept my interest high. Oh, to have had the opportunity to see Martin and Lewis on stage ... that would have been wonderful! Here the reader is treated to all of the backstage intrigues from how the gimmicks were executed to the trials of dealing with shady venue operators. We have an insider's view of show business greats such as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. And, yes, we learn how the partnership ruptured and the toll it took on both men. I did mention that this was co-written, and James Kaplan was certainly the guiding hand in creating easy readability. However, the stories were obviously all Jerry Lewis, and he doesn't spare himself in providing details of the many elements that influenced events. This felt like the truth and not a white-wash for public consumption. There is also a tremendous lesson to be learned here. It is the importance of honest and trusting communication in making any relationship ... personal or professional ... a viable and long-lasting one. There were so many times that being forthcoming might have saved this partnership. The reader views it from a safe distance, but the impact is heartbreaking ... especially when both men were blessed with such talent. Jerry Lewis calls ARTISTS AND MODELS the almost perfect Martin and Lewis movie. I definitely plan to seek it out. In the meantime, I am grateful for the lessons learned from this highly entertaining book. One need not be a fan of Dean Martin or Jerry Lewis to thoroughly enjoy it. At the end of the book, Jerry Lewis revisits a stage show very early in the partnership. He details an outrageous on-stage prank that he played on Dean Martin, and Dean's ever-cool and delightful response. It is an exceptional way to close the story, and I'm still smiling as I write this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gia MarajaLove

    I grew up on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, so I was ecstatic when I found out Jerry had written a book about his best-friendship and stage years with Dino. I tried to read this book once and couldn’t handle some of the thematic material (fair warning, there’s lots of talk of Martin’s and Lewis’s infidelity against their wives, and that’s hard for me to stomach), but I was able to endure it this time and see around all the “boys will be boys” snippets to their actual story— their friendship— under I grew up on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, so I was ecstatic when I found out Jerry had written a book about his best-friendship and stage years with Dino. I tried to read this book once and couldn’t handle some of the thematic material (fair warning, there’s lots of talk of Martin’s and Lewis’s infidelity against their wives, and that’s hard for me to stomach), but I was able to endure it this time and see around all the “boys will be boys” snippets to their actual story— their friendship— underneath. The book was everything I could’ve wanted from a first-hand account of Martin & Lewis’s relationship. It made me laugh several times, as you’d expect, but it also made me tear up, especially as I neared the end. I’m glad I gave it a second chance.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I loved this book. The story of Martin and Lewis, as told by Jerry Lewis, is a showbiz story as big, sweeping, and heartbreaking as the story of The Beatles. I grew up with the different stages of Jerry Lewis. I was too young to have known him as part of a partnership, but as a kid, I loved his movies. Every kid did back then. As I got older, I seemed to grow out of that type of comedy, but I watched Lewis's annual telethon for Muscular Dystrophy with a bit of unease. It seemed he wasn't the goof I loved this book. The story of Martin and Lewis, as told by Jerry Lewis, is a showbiz story as big, sweeping, and heartbreaking as the story of The Beatles. I grew up with the different stages of Jerry Lewis. I was too young to have known him as part of a partnership, but as a kid, I loved his movies. Every kid did back then. As I got older, I seemed to grow out of that type of comedy, but I watched Lewis's annual telethon for Muscular Dystrophy with a bit of unease. It seemed he wasn't the goofy innocent at all, but was more like Buddy Love, the "Mr. Hyde" of The Nutty Professor. Smarmy, defensive, arrogant, and a bit unpleasant. I found out, reading this book, that during that stage, he was heavily addicted to Percodan, after taking a debilitating fall onstage. Later, he turned in a redeeming acting performance in Scorsese's The King of Comedy. Dean Martin I knew mainly as an aging crooner who liked to drink and who liked to laugh at jokes at his own expense. The "drunk" was all an act, I found out, reading this book. This book made me forget those personas and focus on two very three-dimensional men who thoroughly enjoyed the better part of ten years together as a comedy team, and a relationship that today we would call a bromance for the ages. The vagaries of showbiz chipped away at the chinks in this friendship until they grew apart. Eventually Dean would say something so hurtful to Jerry that it would take decades for the relationship to be repaired. But it was repaired. Too little, too late? Maybe. And that's where a lot of the heartbreak in this book comes in. You may cry a bit, but you'll also laugh. You'll also thrill to the anecdotes about the mob. Jerry tells his story with a love and admiration for his "big brother" Dean that you'll never forget.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    I have a total crush on Dean Martin, so this book by Jerry Lewis was fascinating. I knew next to nothing about Martin and Lewis (other than that they were partners), so I loved hearing about the jokes and pranks and humor they found together. Lewis portrays Martin as a totally different person than the media's perception and portrayal. He frequently comments on Dean's tendency to play the drunk both for humor's sake and to keep people at a distance. Martin's love for old Westerns made me smile, s I have a total crush on Dean Martin, so this book by Jerry Lewis was fascinating. I knew next to nothing about Martin and Lewis (other than that they were partners), so I loved hearing about the jokes and pranks and humor they found together. Lewis portrays Martin as a totally different person than the media's perception and portrayal. He frequently comments on Dean's tendency to play the drunk both for humor's sake and to keep people at a distance. Martin's love for old Westerns made me smile, since one of my favorite movies is El Dorado. I am woefully uneducated in the movie careers of both Martin and Lewis, and I hope that I can find some copy of their act on DVD. Very touching book - truely a love story including the requisite heartbreak. I'm not sure what Martin's perspective on the whole situation was, but Lewis certainly tries to give credit where credit is due - maybe something only possible in hindsight.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Devlin

    A love letter to the dearest of friends. Well written and bracingly honest. Lewis cuts himself no slack while forgiving Dean of many of his failings. The greatest act of the post war America. A time capsule of a very different america inhabited by grand night clubs, mobbed up patrons, and a simple media environment that guaranteed if an act got big it got ginormous. Dean and Jerry the ultimate bromance. P.S. as a kid watching the Jerry Lewis telethon for muscular dystrophy was de riguer.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I am a huge Dean Martin fan even though I wasn't around when he made it big. My mom used to play Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies for me when I was too little to even talk. It wasn't until I became infatuated with the 1960s did my resurgent for Dean come back when I would read all about the Rat Pack. I recently saw the Rat Pack impersonators in Las Vegas and decided to start reading more books on Dean. I picked this one up first because I didn't know much about his beginnings and since he pret I am a huge Dean Martin fan even though I wasn't around when he made it big. My mom used to play Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies for me when I was too little to even talk. It wasn't until I became infatuated with the 1960s did my resurgent for Dean come back when I would read all about the Rat Pack. I recently saw the Rat Pack impersonators in Las Vegas and decided to start reading more books on Dean. I picked this one up first because I didn't know much about his beginnings and since he pretty much started with Jerry, I couldn't wait to read this. I did enjoy the book but I don't think I know a whole lot more about Dean than I did before. He obviously kept a lot of his feelings to himself, where Jerry admits he wears his on his sleeve. Because he idolized Dean he put up with it. It's amazing they lasted ten years together. I wanted to understand why they broke up but it wasn't very clear to me. I think they grew apart and tired of each other but Jerry didn't dive too deeply into it. He talked about it "on the surface," but there was much more going on that he didn't say. It was probably too painful to go over as he shared a lot of the blame in what happened. There were times that I thought Jerry used certain stories to stroke his ego while trying to make it sound like he felt sorry for Dean (the reviews, the buying him a song, etc.) and that was a little cringe worthy to read but all in all it was a good book. It's a shame that for as much as these two shared and as much as they can credit each other for their success, they didn't really end as close as they started. :(

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Moreso than Dean Martin, this was a rather revealing portrait of Jerry Lewis. He's emotionally open in a way he seems to regret he hadn't always been, and he does own up to some of his flaws, but I feel like there's a couple of things he could be more honest about. For one, he likes to set up events and choices as the reason for their break up, but I think it's fairly clear that it wasn't the /events/ so much as it was Jerry Lewis' insatiable ego growing wild, unchecked. He says Dean Martin was Moreso than Dean Martin, this was a rather revealing portrait of Jerry Lewis. He's emotionally open in a way he seems to regret he hadn't always been, and he does own up to some of his flaws, but I feel like there's a couple of things he could be more honest about. For one, he likes to set up events and choices as the reason for their break up, but I think it's fairly clear that it wasn't the /events/ so much as it was Jerry Lewis' insatiable ego growing wild, unchecked. He says Dean Martin was largely non confrontational and kept to himself, and if you're too good natured all of the time people take that for weakness and start to take advantage – which is what I think happened here to some degree. Not that Martin was a shrinking violet, but he clearly got sick of Jerry's overbearing ways that seem to have fallen into an abusive relationship pattern of hit 'em and kiss 'em. He says several times he needed Dean, but I think Martin got disillusioned by the whiplash in his volatile emotions, never mind that he felt stale in his role while Lewis got all of the fun scenes and the great press. Anyhow, that's my armchair psychology. I could go on a field day about how I think Jerry Lewis comes across as solidly bisexual (well, at least DeanMartinsexual) in this but perhaps thats a little TOO far...... (spoiler, it's not).

  12. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne Pulcino

    DEAN AND ME (A LOVE STORY) Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan The unlikeliest of partners, a handsome crooner and a skinny comic seemed destined for mediocrity until the moment they appeared together and something clicked, really clicked! In no time they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles and created hysteria wherever they went. They were an American intuition until ten years to the day they joined forces it all ended. They would not speak for twenty years that saw them both embark on triumphant solo c DEAN AND ME (A LOVE STORY) Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan The unlikeliest of partners, a handsome crooner and a skinny comic seemed destined for mediocrity until the moment they appeared together and something clicked, really clicked! In no time they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles and created hysteria wherever they went. They were an American intuition until ten years to the day they joined forces it all ended. They would not speak for twenty years that saw them both embark on triumphant solo careers. Jerry Lewis takes you through every step of their fifty year friendship in this moving, tragic and hilarious journey. He also reiterates that Dean Martin was one of the greatest and most underrated actors in his timing and comic talent. What really resounds in this memoir is the great depth of love Jerry felt for Dean and continues to feel until this day. It is a small miracle they lasted as long as they did as their diverse and totally opposite personalities created a lot of conflict. While Jerry uses his memoir to express his devotion to Dean even with his idiosyncrasies, he underplays his extremely obsessive and controlling personality. A wonderful look at one of the best comic teams ever.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle

    Jerry Lewis spent his whole life telling everybody how much he loved Dean Martin. Even when they were still together, he made sure interviewers, reporters, and biographers knew exactly how he felt. (Dean, while not quite so forthcoming, even concurred at times.) His memoir is a beautifully tragic exploration of how such a love affair could have come to an end. Perhaps my favourite thing about it is the structure. It is mostly chronological, but as we near the end of the book (and the partnership) Jerry Lewis spent his whole life telling everybody how much he loved Dean Martin. Even when they were still together, he made sure interviewers, reporters, and biographers knew exactly how he felt. (Dean, while not quite so forthcoming, even concurred at times.) His memoir is a beautifully tragic exploration of how such a love affair could have come to an end. Perhaps my favourite thing about it is the structure. It is mostly chronological, but as we near the end of the book (and the partnership), Lewis jumps back to an earlier story, as if desperate to relive more positive memories before the bitter end. In fact, the final recollection is from one of their earliest shows, before they were even official partners. Overall, I loved it. I am biased, of course; the Martin & Lewis partnership is one of my favourite things, and their personal relationship is of great interest to me. However, Lewis and Kaplan's book is brilliantly evocative, and captures the joy and heartbreak of an incredible relationship so vividly, that I'd recommend it even if you don't have a personal stake in it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marcella Termini

    This book starts off with a bang and continues through the high and low times of the Martin and Lewis team with such force that you don't want it to end... it does end though, but with the same bravado that it began... The Lewis/Martin partnership is one that most "rat pack" fans overlook--we all know how America has semi-bastardized Lewis as just a goof-comic, and this book gives you such an insight into not only the technical side of what went on, but really explains how that something most pe This book starts off with a bang and continues through the high and low times of the Martin and Lewis team with such force that you don't want it to end... it does end though, but with the same bravado that it began... The Lewis/Martin partnership is one that most "rat pack" fans overlook--we all know how America has semi-bastardized Lewis as just a goof-comic, and this book gives you such an insight into not only the technical side of what went on, but really explains how that something most people take as guffaw can bond two people, and create a magic that can sustain divorce, heartbreak, etc... I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially to the people who still make those foolish, "Well, Jerry Lewis is France's favorite comedian"... the man is a comic genius, a fabulous writer, and very intelligenet.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    Martin and Lewis were before my time and so I really never knew anything about them aside from the MD telethons Jerry would do. In fact, I would never have chosen this book to read if I hadn't gotten it free. If Jerry's account of history is to be believed, he believed he loved Dean. However, Jerry's pitying attitude toward Dean and his self-absorbed view of himself leads the reader to believe that Jerry thought very little of Dean. Jerry seemed awfully proud of his sexual liaisons and dropped n Martin and Lewis were before my time and so I really never knew anything about them aside from the MD telethons Jerry would do. In fact, I would never have chosen this book to read if I hadn't gotten it free. If Jerry's account of history is to be believed, he believed he loved Dean. However, Jerry's pitying attitude toward Dean and his self-absorbed view of himself leads the reader to believe that Jerry thought very little of Dean. Jerry seemed awfully proud of his sexual liaisons and dropped names left and right as if trying to impress the reader instead of tell his story. It was an interesting read, but I finished the book with the opinion that Jerry is an obnoxious, pompous, self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing individual that envied Dean and the only way he knew how to deal with it was to belittle Dean.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Jerry Lewis kind of grosses me out whenever I see him being interviewed, but I used to enjoy his movies when I was little, so I generally cut him some slack. The man isn't renowned for his modesty, so it's nice to see him giving credit, and lots of it, where it's due. It's evident that Lewis adored Martin, perhaps on a grander and certainly more personal level than any of his wives (I for one won't forget anytime soon the scene where Dean obligingly inspects Jerry's swimsuit area for pubic lice. Jerry Lewis kind of grosses me out whenever I see him being interviewed, but I used to enjoy his movies when I was little, so I generally cut him some slack. The man isn't renowned for his modesty, so it's nice to see him giving credit, and lots of it, where it's due. It's evident that Lewis adored Martin, perhaps on a grander and certainly more personal level than any of his wives (I for one won't forget anytime soon the scene where Dean obligingly inspects Jerry's swimsuit area for pubic lice. Laaa-dy!) and the ups and downs of their career and relationship make for a diverting read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Kirby

    What a great start to 2020! If you grew up loving Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and are interested in their behind the scenes story, in Jerry’s words, this will not disappoint. It did break my heart...knowing, of course, that the break up would happen. My heart also filled to read of their eventual reunion. I wish Dean would have recounted his life in this open detail, but of course that was not his style. Regardless, I loved this book from start to finish.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda Barzano

    I love Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie and was excited to read this book but it was a tour through an egomaniacs mind. Lewis was so busy telling us how much he loved Martin all the while manipulating him into situations he didn't know about. It ended up being a strange sad read. I love Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie and was excited to read this book but it was a tour through an egomaniacs mind. Lewis was so busy telling us how much he loved Martin all the while manipulating him into situations he didn't know about. It ended up being a strange sad read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gilda Felt

    The Martin and Lewis heyday was long past by the time I knew anything about them as a team, but both were known to me. As were the stories that swirled around their break-up. I saw some of their movies, but found them only mildly amusing. Lewis’s were the same. Funny, but not terribly so, which could have said more about the times than the movies. But I did enjoy Martin’s work, especially in Rio Bravo and The Sons of Katie Elder. Given that, I began reading as something of a Dean Martin fan, but The Martin and Lewis heyday was long past by the time I knew anything about them as a team, but both were known to me. As were the stories that swirled around their break-up. I saw some of their movies, but found them only mildly amusing. Lewis’s were the same. Funny, but not terribly so, which could have said more about the times than the movies. But I did enjoy Martin’s work, especially in Rio Bravo and The Sons of Katie Elder. Given that, I began reading as something of a Dean Martin fan, but not really one of Jerry Lewis’s. While the book didn’t change my feelings about Martin, it did manage to make me like Lewis, as it laid to rest many of the myths that grew up around their split. Yes, the book was written by Lewis, but much of what he writes rings true, especially after what was written about Martin after his death. The book’s biggest flaw is that it’s quite obviously written by a non-writer, which is odd since it appears to have been co-written by James Kaplan, a published author. But some issues are covered more than once, while others could have been covered in more depth. And the “this is Lewis speaking,” tone could have been downplayed a bit.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this used book store find for $2. But it was really good - excellent, engrossing weekend reading, and gave a real clear picture of Old Time Show Business, including East Coast stage performance and classic 1950s silver screen Hollywood. Jerry Lewis does a great time explaining the admiration and love he felt for his show business partner, Dean Martin, how they worked together, and the frantic and often amazing life of the most well-paid entertainers in Show Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this used book store find for $2. But it was really good - excellent, engrossing weekend reading, and gave a real clear picture of Old Time Show Business, including East Coast stage performance and classic 1950s silver screen Hollywood. Jerry Lewis does a great time explaining the admiration and love he felt for his show business partner, Dean Martin, how they worked together, and the frantic and often amazing life of the most well-paid entertainers in Show Business from 1946 to 1956, so reading that was like entering a different, better, more glamorous world. And then, the cracks in their relationship start to appear and get bigger, and the story goes from glitz and glamour to darkness and uncertainty. Finally, the book wraps-up with a real emotional, nostalgic, epic sweep - as often the best biographies and autobiographies do. Its true, non-fiction is often more epic, stunning, and emotionally resonant than fiction, and Jerry is revealed to be a truly well-rounded, deep, and complex human. Wow, this was a life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    God this was so bad! Jerry Lewis just seems to have no insight whatsoever into anyone, least of all himself or Dean Martin. And I love Dean Martin, but this book portrays him as just some guy who played a lot of golf. Which is fine, I suppose (if you want to throw your life away, go ahead!). But he doesn't even have thoughts about golf? He just golfs. Dean went golfing. Dean was golfing. Dean golfed a lot. Yeah I get it! He golfed. Jesus. Talk about something else, or don't write a book about so God this was so bad! Jerry Lewis just seems to have no insight whatsoever into anyone, least of all himself or Dean Martin. And I love Dean Martin, but this book portrays him as just some guy who played a lot of golf. Which is fine, I suppose (if you want to throw your life away, go ahead!). But he doesn't even have thoughts about golf? He just golfs. Dean went golfing. Dean was golfing. Dean golfed a lot. Yeah I get it! He golfed. Jesus. Talk about something else, or don't write a book about someone who is just out golfing

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Byers

    If I’m being 100% honest, I thought this book was about Jerry Lee Lewis and James Dean (who I didn’t know were friends, which is why I was interested😂). I had never heard of Jerry Lewis in my life and all I knew of Dean Martin was that he sings a bunch of Italian songs I like. This turned out to be a really interesting read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Sad to say but I picked this book up after hearing about the passing of Jerry Lewis. I have a small collection of his movies and the Colgate Comedy Hour of him and Dean Martin that I've had for years and have always found great enjoyment watching them. Hats off you to Mr. Lewis (Pally). Sad to say but I picked this book up after hearing about the passing of Jerry Lewis. I have a small collection of his movies and the Colgate Comedy Hour of him and Dean Martin that I've had for years and have always found great enjoyment watching them. Hats off you to Mr. Lewis (Pally).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Awesome Very touching. I had no idea. Their relationship was one of those special things that might only come along once if you're lucky. Awesome Very touching. I had no idea. Their relationship was one of those special things that might only come along once if you're lucky.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    3.5 Stars. This was so enjoyable on audio. The guy who narrates can really sound like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. You don't have to be a Martin and Lewis fan (I'm not) to enjoy this tale of a golden era in Hollywood. Perfect Quarantine reading. Like a candy bar or a People magazine. 😜 3.5 Stars. This was so enjoyable on audio. The guy who narrates can really sound like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. You don't have to be a Martin and Lewis fan (I'm not) to enjoy this tale of a golden era in Hollywood. Perfect Quarantine reading. Like a candy bar or a People magazine. 😜

  26. 4 out of 5

    Harley

    When I first picked up this book, I had no idea that it would be full of insight into business partnerships. The focus of this memoir is the ten year business partnership between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The memoir tells how they met, their early success together and the troubles that came with fame and their ultimate breakup. Subtitled "A Love Story." the book is details Jerry's love and respect for Dean. Jerry comments again and again about Dean's comic genius that was overlooked by most fa When I first picked up this book, I had no idea that it would be full of insight into business partnerships. The focus of this memoir is the ten year business partnership between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The memoir tells how they met, their early success together and the troubles that came with fame and their ultimate breakup. Subtitled "A Love Story." the book is details Jerry's love and respect for Dean. Jerry comments again and again about Dean's comic genius that was overlooked by most fans and critics. Jerry says that Dean was a man's man and that even Frank Sinatra was mesmerized by Dean. From a working class family in Stuebenville, Ohio, Dean found his way out through his voice and gift for singing. But it was the cool persona that he created over the years that made him a star. I identified 12 business lessons that can be drawn from the stories that Jerry tells. 1. Have fun working together. And this Jerry and Dean did in the early years of their partnership. They enjoyed each others company. 2. Be sure to laugh together. They were always cracking each other up and experiencing those deep belly laughs that are good for the spirit and the body. 3. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! In the early years of their relationship, Dean and Jerry communicated well. In last few months of the partnership, they stopped talking. 4. Dress for success. Become the person you want to be. Martin and Lewis wore tuxedos in their live shows and elevated their performance to the next level. 5. As you are growing your business, don't underprice yourself. Martin and Lewis were offered half of what the other clubs were paying to play the best night club in New York and their agent turned it down. 6. Trust your gut and the gut instincts of your partner. Dean time and time again trusted the instincts of Jerry even if there was no plausible reason. Sometimes you have to do what your partner believes to be necessary even if it don't make sense. 7. Don't listen to negative hanger-ons. Dean and Jerry let the so-called friends come between them. These friends would whisper negative things about the other partner. Do not let others come between you. 8. Don't bad mouth your partner to others. You have to have each other's backs. You have to protect each other. 9. Don't listen to your press -- both positive and negative. The surprising thing for me was the press reviews spoke often of Jerry's genius but claimed that Dean was second rate. They failed to see the comic genius of Martin. Over the years this ate away at Martin until he started feuding with the press -- a game you can never win. 10. If your partnership is on the rocks, don't take your anger at your partner out on your employees, family members and friends. Learn to work through your anger together. Good partners learn how to fight and still love and respect each other. 11. Know when to call it quits. Every relationship has a beginning, middle and a end. Go out when you are on top. Don't let the relationship peter out. 12. There is always a second act. Both Martin and Lewis went on to successful careers without each other. Nothing lasts for ever. Be ready to move on when the time is right and have faith that you will find your way. I listened to this book twice and found it very humorous and entertaining. I recommend that you listen to it rather than read it so you can pick up the humor. Stephen Hoye did a great job reading the book. If you are in a business partnership, a marriage or just love Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, this is the book for you.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    Martin and Lewis. No first names needed. For a full decade, from 1946-1956, this comedy duo, billed in alphabetically backward but right-sounding order, dominated the American entertainment scene. In an era when television was still for people with money and live entertainment ruled, they were the top of the walk and possibly the best of all time. How big were Martin and Lewis? In the early 1950s, one Catskills club owner, after having been rebuffed by them twice, finally offered $100,000 - for on Martin and Lewis. No first names needed. For a full decade, from 1946-1956, this comedy duo, billed in alphabetically backward but right-sounding order, dominated the American entertainment scene. In an era when television was still for people with money and live entertainment ruled, they were the top of the walk and possibly the best of all time. How big were Martin and Lewis? In the early 1950s, one Catskills club owner, after having been rebuffed by them twice, finally offered $100,000 - for one show. That's about $800,000 in today's dollars. What pair of comics could command that for one night today? Or what solo act could haul down $400,000. And that wasn't a fluke. Elsewhere in the New York-New Jersey area, at the height of their fame, they pulled down $225,000 a week by playing two clubs; that didn't count a percentage of sales that were part of the deal at one of the clubs. But then, to the shock of millions of Americans, despite rumors and even a bit of a feud playing out in newspapers and tabloids for more than 18 months, they broke up, in arguably the biggest entertainment divorce ever. What happened? Well, Dean Martin is dead, so we don't have him to give his hindsight view. But we do have Jerry Lewis, giving his psychological read on the decade-long "marriage" and where it went wrong. "Dean and Me" may be a grammatically incorrect title, but just like the alphabet-reversed billing, it seems to fit. Unfortunately, despite Martin coming first in that billing, he never seemed to come first in press reviews and write-ups, whether of the comedy act or any of the 16 movies the two made together after hitting it big on the yuks circuit. Lewis points out that Dean Martin was not the stereotypical, emotions-on-your-sleeve Italian. Rather, he stored everything inside, including his stewing over second fiddle in the press, including the implication that the act's success was largely due to Lewis. Lewis said the breakup was inevitable, that Dean needed to fly solo to show that he was a much better comic, whether as straight man or zinger, than anybody would give him credit, as well as try to expand his singing. (Ironically, an album Lewis recorded within a year after the breakup beat anything Martin had brought out before then. But Jerry was caring enough he paid, unknown to Dean, to have a song written for him - "That's Amore.") While primarily about the decade together, Lewis looks at his life and career, and Martin's, after the breakup. Without trying to bury Martin, he does point out some of Dean's faults and weaknesses. And he is unstinting on himself there, too, including talking about his addiction to Percodan that hit more than a dozen pills a day before he got help. But before that, the two had a bond, and styles that fed each other, for a decade of solid gold. So, how did this act get started? That and still more are inside the book. The subtitle "(A Love Story)" tells us that, 50 years after the breakup, this was still an affair of the heart.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Oh my...so many mixed emotions about this book. I had seen several of Jerry Lewis' films from the 60s, and one or two of the films he and Martin starred in. A couple of months ago, I started watching the Colgate Comedy Hour when it airs once a week on a local channel, and I totally fell in love with Martin and Lewis. They're a perfect team. So when I found out that Jerry Lewis had written a memoir, I had to read it. I have a love-hate relationship with celebrity memoirs and biographies. I love re Oh my...so many mixed emotions about this book. I had seen several of Jerry Lewis' films from the 60s, and one or two of the films he and Martin starred in. A couple of months ago, I started watching the Colgate Comedy Hour when it airs once a week on a local channel, and I totally fell in love with Martin and Lewis. They're a perfect team. So when I found out that Jerry Lewis had written a memoir, I had to read it. I have a love-hate relationship with celebrity memoirs and biographies. I love reading behind the scenes stories. I hate finding out not-so-great details about their personal lives. Two things turned me off from this book right from the beginning. First was the language. Profanity is one of my pet peeves. I didn't feel like it was necessary at all...even if Lewis and Martin did swear like this in real life, we could have got the gist of their conversations without the awful profanity. It was so distracting to me. Also, I hated their attitudes about infidelity. "We're men and we're stars...duh, we're *going* to cheat on our wives." Um...no. It's not "guaranteed." Just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you have to be unfaithful in your marriage. That was really disappointing. Okay- now the good. :) I loved learning more about these two guys and their relationship and their career as a team. And I'll admit...I cried. This book was heartbreaking. The phone call they had right after their last performance together? There were tears. I don't think Dean Martin or Jerry Lewis were easy people to love, but the love they had for each other was obvious. I was also strangely fascinated with the parts about the Mob and the fact that apparently *every* single popular nightclub in the 40s and 50s was run by a gangster! I can't believe this kind of stuff really happened. I don't think watching the Colgate Comedy Hour will ever be the same after reading this book. In a good way and a bad way. Maybe I'll try to block out certain parts of what I read so it won't hinder my enjoyment of watching them. :) Now I'm off to see as many of their films as I can get my hands on.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bonita

    I thought this memoir might be a bit one-sided in its view of why the charmed, ten-year partnership of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis met its demise, but that was not the case. This touching tribute–written with an unexpected depth of honesty–will have you laughing at the antics of these talented performers as it enlightens you to the intricacies of their unique bond. In March of 1946, friends Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (each with his own act) were booked at the Havana-Madrid nightclub on Broadway. I thought this memoir might be a bit one-sided in its view of why the charmed, ten-year partnership of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis met its demise, but that was not the case. This touching tribute–written with an unexpected depth of honesty–will have you laughing at the antics of these talented performers as it enlightens you to the intricacies of their unique bond. In March of 1946, friends Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (each with his own act) were booked at the Havana-Madrid nightclub on Broadway. One fateful evening, during Dean’s last show, nineteen-year-old Jerry played a hunch. He had long felt his friend Dean had an innate gift for comedy, and that night he chose to put it to the test. While Dean crooned to the crowd of eight disinterested onlookers, Jerry donned a waiter’s costume, snuck on stage, and launched into a disruptive tirade. Dean calmly turned and proceeded to play off Jerry’s childish antics with the extraordinary timing of a seasoned comedy performer. Jerry’s suspicions had been confirmed! That night a mutually-intuitive stage relationship was born: one that would bring them fame and fortune, heartache and eventual healing. So take a peek into their fragile egos as you explore the complex personalities of these two mega stars. For instance, did you know Dean idolized Frank Sinatra and that Jerry Lewis delighted in showering his ‘big brother’ Dean with extravagant gifts? Many secrets will be revealed; but ultimately you will discover why–as the title indicates–this truly is a love story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Melo

    Though I'm normally not a fan of American comedy, Jerry Lewis had a huge impact on me as a kid. His physical comedy and deeply expressive demeanour just won me over from a young age. I loved Lewis, but could never figure out his ex-partner Dean Martin. In hindsight, I guess the straight man always gets the short end of the stick - and that is one of the points Lewis laments in this memoir. He clearly lived in awe of Martin, who he looked up to as a big brother, and whom he felt was way funnier a Though I'm normally not a fan of American comedy, Jerry Lewis had a huge impact on me as a kid. His physical comedy and deeply expressive demeanour just won me over from a young age. I loved Lewis, but could never figure out his ex-partner Dean Martin. In hindsight, I guess the straight man always gets the short end of the stick - and that is one of the points Lewis laments in this memoir. He clearly lived in awe of Martin, who he looked up to as a big brother, and whom he felt was way funnier and more talented than most people gave him credit for. This book is not laugh outloud funny, but rather tells a honest and bitter-sweet story that is downright poignant in parts - It is clear from his writing the amount of love both felt for one another, even during their sometimes acrimonious 20-years split. Now in his 90s, Lewis' devotion to his other half (Dean Martin passed away over 20 years ago) remains steadfast, which is incredibly touching. It's been decades since I've watched a Jerry Lewis movie. I am concerned that when I do, I will be disappointed at how dated it may feel. But what I do know after reading this book, is that I will definitely give Dean Martin another chance. Jerry Lewis wants me to.

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