Dean and Me (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis
Quite a few people make the mistake of conflating the person of an entertainer with the character he plays. For example, Jerry Lewis is well known for creating wholesome, family-friendly movies. First in partnership with Dean Martin, and later on his own. But the real Jerry Lewis isn’t the character he plays. In Dean and Me, Jerry Lewis makes this very plain in a variety of ways.
Thoughts about Dean and Me
- Jerry Lewis swears, and uses vulgar language – a lot. I’ve never heard a Jewish man use the name of Jesus Christ so frequently.
- Jerry (and Dean) were serially unfaithful to their wives. Hundreds of times. Most of the time, they don’t drop names, but occasionally they do. And there’s not the slightest hint of remorse for treating their wives and families so shabbily.
- Dean and Me primarily covers the 10 year time period of their partnership, starting from their early years when both men were struggling. It follows them through their ten-year partnership and the final chapters on their initial reconciliation at the MDA telethon. Interestingly, it took years after for the two men to become close again.
- There are many interesting stories and anecdotes along the way.
In short, Dean and Me is an unvarnished, although biased, telling of the partnership of Lewis and Martin. It’s an easy book to read, written in a conversational style. Although I found it depressing, I’m glad that I read the story of Jerry’s bromance with Dean Martin.