Read Dean and Me: A Love Story by Jerry Lewis James Kaplan Online

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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—somethThey 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....

Title : Dean and Me: A Love Story
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ISBN : 9780767920872
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Dean and Me: A Love Story Reviews

  • Juls
    2019-04-21 08:16

    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.

  • Christy B
    2019-03-31 06:19

    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.

  • Brooklyn Tayla
    2019-04-04 13:26

    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 🙂

  • Jim Dooley
    2019-04-18 09:57

    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.

  • Lani
    2019-03-30 07:03

    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.

  • Kelly
    2019-04-26 07:16

    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. :(

  • Eric
    2019-04-19 08:26

    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.

  • JoAnne Pulcino
    2019-04-23 10:57

    DEAN AND ME (A LOVE STORY)Jerry Lewis and James KaplanThe 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.

  • Linda Barzano
    2019-04-04 12:02

    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.

  • Gilda Felt
    2019-04-19 09:24

    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.

  • Sharon
    2019-04-04 13:10

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

  • Kristi
    2019-04-02 07:12

    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).

  • Kristin
    2019-03-31 12:14

    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.

  • Bonita
    2019-04-05 13:03

    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.

  • Miguel Melo
    2019-04-05 12:59

    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.

  • GoldGato
    2019-04-10 11:24

    This is the story of the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis partnership that set the entertainment world on fire in the 1950s. That is, the story according to Jerry Lewis. I'll take his word for it, as I wasn't fully aware of the fact that they were a team, having only known Dean as a solo act and Mr. Lewis as a telethon host. Time flies.This is an easy, uncomplicated read. Lewis is gracious and admits his own ego issues. Dino never appeared to think twice about the inevitable split, going on to much higher heights. The breakup seemed to affect Jerry the most, though I had a sneaking suspicion the entire story wasn't being fully relayed....there are parts of the human spirit that three acts can leave out.I must say I most enjoyed the non-Dean sidetracks that take place when Lewis remembers an event or anecdote. Suddenly he's discussing another star and his enthusiasm for showbiz becomes fully realized. It's a decent read, enough to send me to YouTube to check out some of their performances as a duo.Book Season = Summer (one pool, one book)

  • Jeanette
    2019-03-30 08:18

    Whew! Is this book honest to both tremendous frailty and incredible strength.Memoirs of celebs are not my thing. Yesterday I walked into my library to get something that had been held for me and they had set up a new and recent display. Each staff member had put on it three of their favorite books in different genres from different periods. This was there on that shelf. So I took it. And read it over a period of a busy day. Drawing me like a magnet between necessary chores, appointment, etc. Could not leave it unless absolutely necessary. The story, that time, I can barely remember, but it's straight. It's a long love letter to a life and a person. It holds sadness, but it also holds an understanding of aloofness, ego, need for separation and selfishness of choice. And at the same time it celebrates and details the minutia of events and time within a 10 year span when exposure was close to being absolute. And not just to each other either.Not a great fan of slapstick style of Lewis in movies, this book is as good as Martin's "Return to Me".

  • Patrick Justo
    2019-04-22 10:11

    Jerry talks about his man-crush on Dean Martin, how it led to them becoming a singing/comedy team, how it devastated him when they broke up, and how his attempts to prove to himself that his own life had value turned him into the egotistical pretentious jerk the French love. Oh, that, and his percocet addiction. In one aside, Jerry mentions that he and Dean never passed up an opportunity to socialize with groupies. Since this was the late 1940s - early 1950s, a time without easy access to either reliable contraception or abortions, I began to wonder how many illegitimate children Jerry Lewis had scattered throughout America.Then it occurred to me: Jerry's Kids. Jerry's Kids. Those children with muscular dystrophy who dragged themselves across our TV screens every Labor Day weekend at the very end of the MDA telethon as I was growing up. Jerry, at that point awake for something like 36 hours, would call them all 'my kids". Jerry's Kids. Was he trying to tell us something?

  • Marcella Termini
    2019-04-02 09:00

    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.

  • Joy H.
    2019-04-01 09:14

    Added 10/24/12._Dean and Me: A Love Story_ (Audio CD) by Jerry Lewis Read by Gregory Jbara. ISBN: 0739322745I listened to the audio version of this book sometime around August 2012.This audio-book was easy to listen to. I found it interesting because I grew up listening and watching Martin & Lewis perform. It seemed to be told from the heart by Jerry Lewis who reminisced about his relationship with Dean Martin, the good times and the bad.BELOW IS FROM MY LOCAL LIBRARY'S CATALOG:******************************Publisher, Date: New York : Random House Audio : 2005.Edition: Abridged. Description: 5 sound discs (6 hrs.)Subject:Martin, Dean, 1917-1995.Lewis, Jerry, 1926-Entertainers -- Biography.Other Author:Jbara, Gregory.Kaplan, James, 1951-Other Title: Dean and meRead by Gregory Jbara.ISBN: 0739322745******************************

  • Jeremy
    2019-03-31 09:26

    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.

  • Mary Beth
    2019-04-07 08:56

    Yes the elusive five star rating! This is not a perfect book and it reads a bit like a tell all written by a former spouse who has plenty of nice things to say while still exonerating themselves and managing to push their partner under the bus just a little. But this is the story that only Jerry Lewis could tell and he does it SO WELL. He's a wonderful storyteller who captures the zeitgeist of the Era AND the moment. The amount of detail and dialogue is spot on.

  • Rick
    2019-04-18 06:10

    Interesting account of the comedy partnership of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Jerry seems to tell a pretty unbiased story of his and Dean's professional and personal relationship---through the good times and bad times, and their eventual reconciliation in Dean's later years. Gonna have to rent me a few of their movies now. They were quite a pair.

  • Melissa Coltrane
    2019-03-30 14:20

    I loved this book. I've always enjoyed Dean Martin's music but didn't really know much about Martin and Lewis as a team. This is a very interesting and touching quick read. I'm now paying closer attention to their interactions while watching their Colgate comedy hour tv show that I received as gift.

  • Debbie
    2019-04-14 12:59

    This was a very pleasant listen. I watched Martin and Lewis movies as a kid, and never realized their breakup happened well before I would have been watching movies. Loved the Dean Martin show on TV. Always nice to be able to appreciate celebrities as human beings.

  • Andrea Bolton
    2019-04-04 11:00

    Always been a Jerry Lewis fan and I loved this book. It's always great to learn how teams started and this was so well written, I couldn't put it down.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-14 07:04

    I loved this book.

  • Melissa Frye
    2019-03-30 06:16

    This is supposed to be about Dean Martin but Mr. Lewis tends to share more information about himself than his former partner.

  • Rob Hood
    2019-04-23 06:16

    It was fun at first. Then it became tedious.

  • Richard
    2019-03-26 10:13

    Those who were not around in the 1950's probably don't know that the team of Martin and Lewis was the hottest act in show business for the ten years the two performers were together. They met in New York in the forties, young and hungry for fame after failing to set the world on fire in their solo acts. The former Dino Paul Crocetti from Steubenville, Ohio was a former boxer and illegal casino croupier who had a good voice and could only dream of singing alongside his idols, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Jerry Lewis had been performing on stage since the age of five, with his vaudeville parents Daniel and Rachel Levitch (his dad booked under the name Danny Lewis). Young Joseph started a solo act at the age of fifteen under the name Joey, later Jerry Lewis. He did a goofy mime act where he emoted music from a record player in an exaggerated way. Martin and Lewis decided to give it a try as an act in the resort town of Atlantic City, where the nightclubs were owned by people with certain connections. Their first act bombed at Skinny D'Amato's 500 Club. During the break between acts, they huddled and decided to ditch their scripted show and go for broke with an improvised act. During the second act, they threw away all of the conventions of comedy/singing acts of that buttoned-down era. Dean would sing a love song, to be interrupted by Jerry acting as if he was off his medications. They would stray from the stage to the audience, interrupting meals and breaking dishes. No one in their audiences that night or later had ever seen antics like these. They became an instant sensation on this first night of July 24th, 1946. Something interesting just happened. As I was clicking on this page to edit the "Dean and Me" review I had started two days ago, my streaming radio station played "She's Just My Style" by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Coincidence?Jerry's book is chock full of interesting stories of Dean and him. He plainly subtitles the book "A Love Story." He has never stopped missing Dean since his death in 1995. Jerry goes to great length explaining how he and Dean, from different backgrounds, with different interests, nevertheless clicked instantly as an act. Jerry insists, despite the rancor that existed after their breakup, that Dean's considerable comedic skills, underestimated by critics at the time, perfectly complemented his and led to their success. The duo spent considerable time together for years as they raked in tons of money making several movies a year, in between personal appearances and radio and television shows. They were always busy and had to be around each other constantly for years. Jerry thought of Dean as a brother and claims, in the book, to be responsible for giving him the confidence to start his recording career by arranging anonymously for getting a song written and introduced to Dean. The song "That's Amore" became the first of many Dean Martin hits. The Martin and Lewis act had a popular show on early black and white television with "The Colgate Comedy Hour." I think it was on several times a year. I do remember making my parents tune it in whenever it played because Martin and Lewis was the funniest thing on television, as far as I was concerned. Being about seven years old, I had a natural liking for Jerry's adolescent antics. The comedians were most widely known, however, for their movies. Their nightclub success led them to Hollywood, where they appeared in movies for famous producer Hal B. Wallis; their films were produced at Paramount Studios. Their first film was "My Friend Irma", followed by another "Irma" film. Some of these first films, starting in 1949, were cheap black and white affairs, but the production values improved with the act's growing fame. I would go to one of the three movie houses in my hometown every Saturday afternoon with a group of kids from my neighborhood to see westerns by Gene Autry or Roy Rogers, cheesy sci-fi's or Francis the Talking Mule movies. Hey, Donald O'Connor was a genius. Nothing got me excited as seeing the preview for a new Martin and Lewis film, like "Jumping Jacks", "The Caddy" or "The Stooge." It was thus a shock to their fans when the duo, which the book's jacket notes was derisively dubbed "the crooner and the skinny monkey" suddenly decided to call it quits while they were on top. Dean had felt slighted on numerous occasions by the apparent favoritism shown to Jerry by the media at his expense. The straw that broke the camel's back allegedly was the placing of a photograph of Jerry on the cover of a national magazine by cropping Dean out of an original photo of both of them. The act had made them famous but Dean continued to be troubled by the need to establish his own credentials in show business. Jerry describes the last ten months of the act as pure hell. Finally, ten years to day from the start of the act, they played their final show at the Copacabana. And that was it. There were literally millions of dollars that would be left hanging by the act's sudden ending but the lawyers would have to sort that out. The act and the friendship went away, although I think they did a few benefit gigs together later. Dean decided to establish his name as a serious actor and succeeded admirably by1958 by holding his own in a great dramatic war movie, "The Young Lions", co-starring with Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift. Jerry got out from under Wallis's shadow to act in his own films, eventually producing and directing them. The kids at the Saturday matinees continued to be entertained by "The Delicate Delinquent", "The Nutty Professor", "The Disorderly Orderly" and many others. Jerry was known as an innovative director. He invented the Video Assist System in cinematography. He has continued to perform in films and television and, of course, is famous for his work for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and hosting his long-running Labor Day MD telethon.The glue that holds this book together is Jerry Lewis' ability to convey the bittersweet memories of his partnership with Dean Martin. The highs were stratospheric while the lows became extremely sad. The "act" made headlines, and gratified its fans, one more time in 1976, when Frank Sinatra, guest-performing on Jerry's MDA Telethon, unexpectedly brought Dean Martin on stage for a reunion of the two former friends. You could feel the emotion of the moment as years of bad relations were ended. This wasn't a gimmick. These guys continued to go the way of their own professional careers, but they began talking with each other again, mostly by telephone. Dean relied on Jerry emotionally especially after the death of his son, which left him despondent. (Dean Paul Martin, a California Air National Guard Pilot, was killed along with his weapons officer when an F-4 Phantom he was piloting crashed after takeoff from March Air Force Base in March, 1987, in a snowstorm, at the 5,500 foot level of the San Gorgino foothills; ironically, during January, 1977, Frank Sinatra's mother Dolly and three others died when a chartered Lear Jet, flying from Palm Springs Municipal Airport to Las Vegas, crashed after takeoff 9,700 feet up San Gorgino Mountain). Dean was also experiencing health problems by then. He died at the age of 78.This book covers many enjoyable stories about the lives of two super performers. It is a cut above the usual celebrity autobiography, in large part because of Jerry Lewis' crystal clear recollection of events from decades past and his straightforward manner of talking about his life. Dean would no doubt be pleased.