A long March indeed–endless frigid days, mounds of ugly snow everywhere, and cabin fever. It’s a good thing April begins with a laugh or two and here is my attempt to get in on some April Fools day fun. Anyone remember Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis? Back in the day they were top notch in popular comedy. Known as Martin and Lewis when they first started in 1946 the comedic duo captured the funny bone of post war America. Movies, radio, live stage, and early television shows such as Ed Sullivan. Exactly ten years later the team split up to pursue their own stellar careers. Such was their popularity that they even had their own comic book–truly a mark that you made it big in the 1950’s. This issue, #20, of The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis came out in April of 1955.
A little know fact about Jerry Lewis is that when World War II broke out he tried joining the Army but was rejected because of a heart murmur. Somewhat dismayed with his rejection he flew to England in July of 1940 and enlisted in the newly formed Free French Forces under General DeGaulle. As a foreigner Lewis was assigned to the 13th Demi-Brigade of the French Foreign Legion as an moral adviser and interpreter but he was never made an official legionnaire combatant. He did accompany that unit’s deployment to Africa a month later but was medically evacuated in January 1941 after contracting tropical fever. He recuperated in England for several months and his short lived service for France ended when he returned to the United States in March. America joined the war in December 1941 and Jerry Lewis eagerly did what he could for the stateside American war effort. His willingness to serve France however, endeared him to the French people and to this day they regard him as a hero as well as a comedic genius.
Really–it’s all true………..