Jerry Lewis And Dean Martin In Radio Were A Booming Success


First heard on radio in 1938, Bob Hope had one of radio’s most popular comedy shows.  The wisecracking, the fast one-line put-downs (usually of himself), the deadpan, dry style delivers with absolute precision were Bob’s trademarks.  His Pepsodent-sponsored comedy show on NBC radio garnered millions of weekly listeners.  Each Summer Hope and his gang took Summer vacation and NBC had its hands full. As a result, they would try to find a suitable replacement for 13-weeks.

In 1949, NBC turned their eye toward Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis as Hope’s Summer replacement.  Dean and Jerry were popular nightclub performers with sold-out crowds everywhere they play. In conclusion, NBC offered them Bob Hope’s vacated timeslot and commits to one of the biggest build-ups ever given to a pair of newcomers to radio comedy.  Dean and Jerry didn’t disappoint and proved that they could dish out their distinctive brand of zanyism over the airwaves in a big way.


Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin Were a Dynamic Duo

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis / Classic Radio Club

The Martin & Lewis Show was more than just Martin’s golden voice and Lewis’ “kidding-on-the-square.”  The network insisted on a weekly celebrity guest which includes Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, Bing Crosby, and even Bob Hope himself.


The weekly budget was a pricey $10,000. After a short while, the series attracts a sponsor. Therefore, executives at NBC pat themselves on the back for establishing a hit show. As a result, that also became a financial success.  With that kind of budget, NBC could afford Norman Lear, the comedy genius later responsible for All in the Family and Sanford and Son, as writer.

Love Radio Programs From Yesteryear?

This article is sponsored by the Classic Radio Club! We checked it out ourselves and its wonderful! These hard to find radio shows are now easily available. DoYouRemember readers will receive 10 of the greatest classic radio shows of all-time (in superior sound quality – direct from master recordings) for only $1! Check out the Classic Radio Club for more information! Now, back to our regularly scheduled program…

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis / Classic Radio Club

The success led to this dynamic duo to appear as monthly hosts for NBC’s Colgate Comedy Hour. However, NBC used the television program to cross-promote the radio program. It would even recycle some of the radio sketches for the television counterpart.

Film producer Hal Wallis jumps on the Martin & Lewis bandwagon signing the boys to a multi-picture film contract. Their film comedies were box office gold catapulting them to mega-stardom. With meteoritic success on radio, TV, and films, Martin & Lewis proved they are masters of all three commercial media.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis / Classic Radio Club

Do you remember classic radio shows such as Abbott & Costello and the “Who’s On First” sketch, The Jack Benny Program, Gunsmoke, Suspense, Inner Sanctum Mystery, and more? We’ve partnered with The Classic Radio Club to bring you this article on Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin!

Right now all DoYouRemember Readers Can Receive 10 of the Greatest Classic Radio Shows of all-time for only $1 – Here’s a direct link to Classic Radio Club, sign up today!

Carl Amari is the producer/host of the nationally-syndicated nostalgia radio series “Hollywood 360” and the curator of the Classic Radio Club at www.classicradioclub.com. This article has a sponsorship with Classic Radio Club.

Show comments
Published by

Recent Posts

The Rise, Fall, And Hollywood Comeback Of Brendan Fraser

In 2022, Brendan Fraser made a dramatic career turnaround that made waves in Hollywood and…

1 hour ago

John Owen Lowe Says He Was ‘Traumatized’ By Father’s Shirtless Scenes

Despite his father's scandalous past, John Owen Lowe, who grew up in the Hollywood spotlight…

3 hours ago

Miranda Lambert Feels Lucky In St. Patrick’s Day Throwback Pic With Hubby Brendan McLoughlin

Last year, Miranda Lambert enjoyed the luck of the Irish with a full experience this…

6 hours ago

Selma Blair Responds To Critics Calling Her ‘Narcissistic’ For Documenting MS Battle

Selma Blair has been open about her battle with multiple sclerosis since she first made…

7 hours ago

‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Slam New Category For “Dumbing Down” The Game

Since its debut in 1964, Jeopardy! has confronted participants with trivia prompts in various categories,…

7 hours ago

Former Girlfriend Of Elvis Presley Claims ‘He Knew He Would Die At 42’

Kathy Westmoreland, former girlfriend and backup singer for Elvis Presley, claims that he said he…

8 hours ago