Saturday, January 18, 2014

Showbiz trivia: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

From 1946-1956, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ruled show business. Their live shows were a hit in New York and sometimes they performed as many as 6 shows per day. In his book, "Dean and Me: A Love Story" Jerry described them as the playboy and the putz. Dean was the suave Italian singer and ladies man who played it straight. Jerry was the manic, crazy nerd running around the stage like a madman. By 1948, the Copacabana club in New York City was paying them $7500 per week each to perform there. After parting ways in 1956, Jerry went on to direct and star in many films. He became known as a brilliant film director who taught students how to direct at USC. Two of his film students ended up quite successful: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Jerry starred in the 1982 film The King of Comedy with Robert DeNiro. Martin Scorsese was the director and Lewis played Jerry Langford, a Johnny Carson-like late night host. Dean Martin went on to have a successful singing career as a member of the Rat Pack, along with Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

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