"We were doing a 'Colgate Comedy Hour' every six weeks. We took most of what Martin and Lewis did physically and worked it into the television program. I was so nuts and I was out of the rules and I never hit the marks and I was going into the cameras. I knew the importance of physicality and we were good together on it. We knew when to pull back and when to feed one another and when to get up close. It was incredible."
About This Interview
Jerry Lewis was interviewed for nearly two-and-a-half hours in San Diego, CA. Lewis describes his rise to stardom as a performer in the famed Borscht Belt and expresses how his father profoundly shaped his own philosophy on showmanship. Lewis recalls the formation of his legendary partnership with Dean Martin and comments on the remarkable chemistry the two shared. He details his work on early television, including Martin and Lewis' roles as rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour, and discusses the pair's appearances on The Eddie Fisher Show and on Ed Sullivan's very first show. He speaks of his memorable gig as host of the 1959 Academy Awards, a broadcast that ran 20 minutes short; of his television specials and animated series; and of his work both in front of and behind the camera in over forty films, including favorites like The Bellboy, Cinderfella, and The Nutty Professor. Lewis also discusses the break-up of his partnership with Dean Martin and tells the touching story of how he came to host his annual telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The interview was conducted by Sam Denoff on October 27, 2000.