“This is a wild, joyous book, but also a heartbreaking one. In some ways, friendships between men can be more fragile than those between women, something Lewis grasps intuitively. What kind of guy laughs when you upstage his crooning with a piece of raw meat on a fork? Whoever he is, you’d better hang onto him: he’s probably the best friend you’ll ever have.”
—Stephanie Zacharek, The New York Times
They were the unlikeliest of pairs — a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark. But from 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. Then on July 25, 1956, ten years to the day after the two men joined forces, it all ended. Their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as each man’s heart.
“A perceptive and entertaining showbiz memoir that should become a classic of its kind . . .”
—Bruce Handy, Vanity Fair
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Before the Rat Pack, the string of hit songs and the stellar movie career, Dean Martin had already spent ten years partnering Jerry Lewis in one of the most successful double acts of show business history. In this wise-cracking yet candid memoir, Lewis recalls with crystal clarity the highs and lows of his relationship with Dean remembering their first meeting on a New York street corner one spring afternoon in 1945, the early improvised performances in the mob owned nightclubs of the era, and the giddy days of Hollywood super-stardom, when it seemed the couples high-rolling lifestyle would last for ever. It didn't. On July 24th 1956, Dean and Jerry split and the two men went their separate ways, not speaking to one another for twenty years. Jerry Lewis is one of the few surviving Hollywood legends from the period and he is a wonderful raconteur whose tales reveal much about Dean Martin's craftsmanship and enigmatic charm. In his own unique voice he evokes all the glamour of the era the casinos, the mobsters, the endless pranks, the cocktails and the women. He writes movingly too of the youthful thrill of sudden, startling success, and the slow sad erosion of the fun that followed.