Jerry Lewis: Clown Icon

The origins of Lewis' partnership with the famed singer is the stuff of Hollywood legend

With Dean Martin
Lewis first rose to prominence as the comic half of a partnership with famed singer Dean Martin. The origin of their alliance is the stuff of Hollywood legend: Booked separately at the 500 Club in Atlantic City, they broke into each other's act on a July night in 1946, hurling celery, improvising insults and witticisms, squirting seltzer at each other and wreaking general mayhem in the theater. The audience loved it and within a short time, the two performers were touring together and earning more than ten times their previous salaries.

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