Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Today Show with Faye Emerson, Jack Lescoulie, Frank Blair, J. Fred Muggs and guests Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (1956)




Dean Martin: I had never broken up [with laughter] deliberately – you know, pretending to an audience that I thought he [Jerry Lewis] was funny when he wasn’t. When he didn’t get the kind of laughs from me, he began to try his stuff out on six guys we had around as court followers. You might call them professional idiots. So Jerry didn’t come to me any more for my opinion. He tried out his stuff on our idiot clique. He kept those six idiots after we broke-up – only it got more like seven or ten idiots. That kind of thing builds.

12 comments:

Kevin K. said...

Love the way Dean splits before the end of the show, leaving Jerry to hog the last two minutes by himself. It's strange how less funny he is the moment Dean is off-stage.

AndrewJ said...

Thank God there were no plane crashes or presidential assassinations that morning to disrupt all the frivolity.

willmckinley said...

"How are you and Dean getting along?" "Very well, when he isn't at the theater." FORESHADOWING.

Anonymous said...

A moment after the '...at the theater." line, Jerry says something about how Faye Emerson will soon look with a microphone sticking out of her head, perhaps alluding to her uncalled-for "How are you and Dean getting along?" query. It isn't very long after that moment that Dean makes his exit.

davekonig said...

Jerry talks about this appearance in 'Dean & Me': "...we were going to put our feelings on hold and do ten nights at the 500 Club...Imagine - ten nights in Atlantic City with a partner I wasn't speaking to...At one point The Today Show interviewed us live at the Club. There's a kinescope of that segment, and it's painful to see: Dean and I can barely look at each other."

It really is hard to watch, especially compared to all the early clips available from the Colgate Comedy Hour when they were both clearly delighted with each other!

Dave Konig
www.davekonig.com

Anonymous said...

Kliph,
Did you come across the Variety article from the TV section that week about this performance by Dean & Jerry? Basically says they should pack it in as a team.

Bob Waldman

Anonymous said...

Hi Kliph,
Did you come across the Variety article from the TV section that week reporting on Dean & Jerry's performance? Basically, it said that they should pack it in.

Bob Waldman

Bobby said...

I'm a long-time fan of Jerry's -- even though I know how people in show biz can't stand him. I'd really love to know why they canned him from the telethon. I can't believe that MD is raising anywhere near the money they raised when Jerry was hosting and it was a 20-hour show. How much could they have raised in the few hours that it was on last Labor Day? If anyone knows how much they raised last Labor Day, please post it.

In this particular clip, you can see how obnoxious Jerry was. But I must say that it was disgusting how Jerry wouldn't give Dean any respect when he sang his song. What Jerry did at the beginning of Dean's song was, indeed, funny. And he got off some great lines. But then he should have stopped and let Dean have his moment. If I were Dean, I would have said, "Eh, what's the use?!" and just walked off. Dean was so professional and gentlemanly, even in the face of being treated so shabbily by Jerry. Talk about "cool"! Wow! Watching Dean, in that situation, was the definition of "cool." After 10 years of this, you can really understand why Dean had had enough. He was famous, wealthy, and he didn't need to be made a fool of by Jerry any more.

Having said all of the above, I have to say that Dean and Jerry were truly the funniest and greatest comedy team ever. I've watched the videos of them at the Copa and I have yet to see anything funnier. Jerry was unbelievably brilliant in those days, and so was Dean. And Jerry, working without Dean, was never as funny. He really needed a foil like Dean -- someone to play off of and someone to work with.

It would be so great if Kliph could do a 10-parter with Jerry. It would be the best interview that Jerry ever gave.

Anonymous said...

The more I watch Martin and Lewis, the more Dean seems like a husband at a dinner party who's embarassed by behavior of his obnoxious wife.

Anonymous said...

Jerry is misquoted here. When he asked Faye Emerson "How are you and Skitch getting along?" he was joking about her shaky marriage to band leader Skitch Henderson. Faye returned the question about Dean to Jerry, who replied "Fine, and he doesn't have a beard." alluding to Skitch and his famous goatee.

Mark Spangler said...

It just doesn't get any better than this clip. Jerry did, in fact, reference this show in "Dean and Me" and if anything, understated the hostility that was apparent in this presentation. Poor Dean. He just couldn't catch a break. Watch how the camera follows Jerry all over the place and leaves Dean behind. By this time he'd given up trying. There was no "team" in this comedy team left. Can you blame Dino?

Mark Spangler said...

Even though Jerry comments on how difficult this appearance was, it comes off better than expected. The hostility is quite clear, however and Dean holds up well under Jerry's onslaught. The jig was up at this point... everyone knew it was over for the team... they were just playing out the string. Dean was so classy.