What if Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis continued as a comedy team, and did not break up in the summer of 1956 to a sold out packed show at the Copacabana night club in New York City. What kind of comedy would they be doing. They had 2 final Paramount films in theaters during their final year as a duo. They had Partners and Hollywood or Bust in the theaters that year, with Hollywood or Bust during the Christmas holiday season of 1956, and this would be the last we would see of Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis on the big screen.
What kind of movies and night club act could they have in the late 50’s, and early 1960’s. Would Jerry Lewis now be part of the rat pack. I think deep down inside Martin and Lewis, and their shtick, and all the comely teams, of their era might have seen better days, and I believe Martin and Lewis was the last true comedy team left.
Jerry Lewis was the more talented of the two. He truly had real directorial, and writing chops, and I think that may have bothered Dean Martin. If they did keep going. I can see them starring in films with Frank Sinatra, or Tony Curtis. Maybe doing Some Like It Hot, or The Apartment, or the Odd Couple.
The comedy Hal Wallis production era for them was kind of over regardless. The big Paramount films were becoming a thing of the past. The comedy good comedy could have still been written for them with the right writing team, along with Jerry Lewis. Maybe a new hip 1960’s writers. Much like the Beatles. You will never know what kind of continuation they would have had. Much like Cary Grant retiring in the mid 1960’s from film, or James Cagney walking way from making movies in 1961 for good, and then returning for one last appearance in 1981’s Ragtime.
Dean Martin had a pretty slow jump start out of the split, with a bomb at the box office called 10,000 Bedrooms, on the other hand Lewis was smart and stayed, with what worked with a film he had written originally for Martin and Lewis call The Delicate Delinquent, and then a funny follow up called The Sad Sack both from 1957; but Martin licked his wounds, and got serious with The Young Lions, Some Came Running, and Rio Bravo.
I like how both their careers forged on. Dean Martin with his hour long variety Show on NBC, call the Dean Martin Show. Which ran for a decade, and Lewis making what he know best, and with his true go to tools.. The same kind of comedy that he did back in the Martin and Lewis days, but now just a solo, and for the most part worked for a bit.
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis never worked together again after that hot summer night at the Copa in Manhattan July 25, 1956 their last of three shows began at 2:30 am and to never do a film or a night club performance ever again. The true era of the comedy team had really come to and end.