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. 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.
Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in—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, their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart.
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