Way before Adam Sandler did wacky comedy movies opposite himself, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were the reigning goofball team of 1950s cinema.
Well, I just dug up a book about the singer/shticker duo by Arthur Marx (son of Groucho), and it points to some real affection that lurked beneath the animosity that ultimately broke them up.
Martin and Lewis, asserts Marx, had “the kind of chemistry that makes for a real love affair.”
“The feelings the two of them had for each other during the early days of their romance,” he writes, “no doubt stemmed from nothing more than the usual ‘latent homosexuality’ that psychiatrists claim exists between all close friends of the same sex.”
But Marx quotes a source close to the duo saying that this partnership was based on a real infatuation.
“Everything Jerry did was either to amuse or please Dean,” he swears. He adds that Jerry craved a laugh from Dean even more than he wanted it from the audience.
The source also says that some of the sketches Jerry wrote for the duo to perform “had a mild homosexual flavor to them”–like one in which Jerry was hurt when, after he cooked a big meal for Dino, the crooner dissed him to go play golf.
“Jerry was always the ‘wife’ or ‘girlfriend’ in those situations,” writes Marx.
It’s so sweet that a Jew and an Italian with fake names could be so deeply, intricately bonded.
Unfortunately, there was one person Jerry Lewis loved even more than Dean Martin, and that was Jerry Lewis!
End of relationship!