Today we turn to the pallies at "VANITY FAIR" for a mighty missive tagged "When Jerry Met Dean—Again, on Live Television" scribed by Mr. Donald Liebenson. We are includin' mostly is the openin' paragraphs that reverently remember the remarkable reunion of Martin and Lewis that captures some of the banter shared by our Dino, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Sinatra.
Likes we ain't postin' all of this awesome article, but if you clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram you can read it in all it's glory at the VF pad. The prose in total includes wonderful remembrances by those close to our Dino and Mr. Lewis, as well some of the Hollywood elite....makin' this a very very special solemn salute to both our Dino and his comedic partner. We salute Mr. Donald Leibenson for a great piece of creative writin' and, of course, the folks at "VANITY FAIR" for spreadin' it far and wide on the world wide web.
Yours in Dino,
Dino Martin Peters
Inside Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin’s jaw-dropping televised reunion, 40 years after America watched it happen.
BY DONALD LIEBENSON
Jerry Lewis hates surprises—and on September 5, 1976, the biggest one of his then more-than-30-year career was waiting in the wings at Las Vegas’s Sahara Hotel. Lewis’s annual M.D.A. Telethon, always an event, was, on this night, already the equivalent of a “Very Special Episode”: Frank Sinatra was performing live instead of remote for the first time since 1953.
Frank did his set and presented Jerry with a couple of donations, including one for $5,000 on behalf of his grandchildren. “Listen,” he told Jerry, “I have a friend who loves what you do every year, and who just wanted to come out. Could you send my friend out, please?”
But there they were, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, re-united, embracing, and joking onstage for the first time in 20 years, like it was old times. “Here they are, folks,” beamed Sinatra, mic in his right hand, his left arm draped on Jerry’s shoulder. The standing ovation lasted more than a minute.
In John Ford’s classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a newspaperman ultimately explains to Jimmy Stewart, “This is the West, sir; when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Well, this is Vegas, baby, and the facts are legend.
Martin, the suave crooner, and Lewis, the frantic tummler, first teamed up in 1946. According to Lewis’s memoir, Dean and Me: A Love Story, when they met, Lewis—nine years Martin’s junior—brashly asked his future partner, “You workin’?”
They had a phenomenal 10-year run. They were boffo on radio, television, and in movies and nightclubs. But an insurmountable abyss gradually grew between them—and on July 24, 1956, 10 years to the day of their first appearance as a team, they gave their last nightclub performance at New York’s famed Copacabana (the hottest spot . . . well, you know).
Dean’s surprise appearance at the telethon caught Jerry completely off guard. “You son of a bitch,” he can be heard saying, sotto voce, to Frank in the clip, before joking, “Shoulda been a Jew that did it.” And then Frank bows out, and it’s just Jerry and Dean. “So, how ya been?” Jerry begins. “You know, it seems like we haven’t seen each other for 20 years,” Martin replies. Lewis’s response: “Well, you know, there was all those rumors about our breaking up—and then when I started the show and you weren’t here, I believed it.”
What Jerry ultimately came up with was a pitch-perfect in-joke, a poignant callback to their first meeting. To his former partner, he asked, “So, you workin’?”