|Running time||30 minutes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Written by||Ed Simmons (1950-1953) |
Norman Lear (1950-1953)
|Directed by||Robert L. Redd|
|Produced by||Bob Adams|
|Original release||April 3, 1949 – July 14, 1953|
|Sponsored by||Chesterfield cigarettes|
The Martin and Lewis Show is a radio comedy-variety program in the United States starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. It was broadcast on the NBC Radio Network beginning April 3, 1949, and ending July 14, 1953.
After losing The Jack Benny Program and Amos 'n' Andy from its Sunday night lineup to what had been called "the CBS talent raids" of 1948–49, NBC turned to the young comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, a pair "virtually unknown to a radio audience."Reinehr and Swartz commented in their old-time radio reference book, "the program ... was never as successful as the network had hoped, because much of Martin and Lewis's comedy was visual.
Work on the program began early in 1949, after NBC "decided to build a show around Martin and Lewis."Billboard magazine reported that the network spent approximately $400,000 over five months getting the show ready. Preparation was worked around the duo's performances in night clubs and in the movie My Friend Irma . The basis for NBC's investment was a five-year radio contract signed in December 1948. The deal guaranteed the pair $150,000 per year and "a choice time slot." The program was scheduled to begin Jan. 16, 1949, but it did not go on the air until April.
Reviews of the program's first broadcast indicated that the episode left much room for improvement. A Billboard reviewer wrote, "Off the initial outing, the lads will have to do considerable improving to live up to all the web's hopes."However, he offered some optimism by writing, "[I]f the scripters can come up with material as fresh as their style and talent, Martin and Lewis still may earn all the accolades which were tossed their way before they ever faced a mike." Meanwhile, media critic John Crosby wrote in his newspaper column, "The general attitude was one of friendly skepticism."
In January 1950, Billboard reported that CBS "was making a determined effort to sign, among others, the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis."The story added that at that point the program still had no sponsors and was "costing NBC close to $10,000 per week."
By the end of 1950, Jerry Lewis recruited comedy writers Norman Lear and Ed Simmons to become the regular writers for Martin and Lewis.
Things eventually improved economically for The Martin and Lewis Show. It went on to have sponsorship from Chesterfield cigarettes and Anacin.It gained popularity with listeners, too, as it was named Favorite Radio Comedy Show in Radio-TV Mirror magazine's 1952 poll. However, at least one newspaper writer still was not favorably impressed by the program. In 1952, Hal Humphrey wrote that The Martin and Lewis Show and Red Skelton's radio program were lacking in comparison to their television counterparts. He commented, "With rare exceptions their jokes and situations were stale and grisly with age, and on radio they had no chance to save themselves with mugging or pratfalls."
Martin was the singer of the pair, and Lewis was the comedian, with the latter described by radio historian John Dunning as a "squeaky-voiced idiot who heckled everybody in sight."Dunning described the program's content as "standard variety fare: an opening song by Martin, some verbal slapstick, a guest spot, more Lewis antics, and a closing number by Martin."
Besides Martin and Lewis, regulars on the program included Ben Alexander, Sheldon Leonard,Florence MacMichael, The Skylarks and Mary Hatcher.
Ed Simmons and Norman Lear wrote for the program, just as they also wrote for Martin and Lewis's movies and TV shows.Dick Stabile was both the bandleader and a foil for Martin and Lewis jokes.
Norman Milton Lear is an American television screenwriter, film and television producer who has produced, written, created, or developed over 100 shows. Lear is known for many popular 1970s sitcoms, including the multi-award winning All in the Family as well as Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time,The Jeffersons, and Good Times.
The Six Shooter is a United States western old-time radio program starring James Stewart as a gunfighter. It was created by Frank Burt, who also wrote many of the episodes, and lasted only one season of 39 episodes on NBC. Initially, it was broadcast on Sundays at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time, through October 11. Then it was heard at 8:30 p.m. for three weeks. Finally, on November 8, 1953 through March 21, 1954, it was broadcast Sundays at 8 p.m. Beginning April 1, 1954 through the final episode it was on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. One old-time radio directory called the program "a last, desperate effort by a radio network (NBC) to maintain interest in adventure drama by employing a major Hollywood movie star in the leading role."
Martin and Lewis were an American comedy duo, comprising singer Dean Martin and comedian Jerry Lewis. They met in 1945 and debuted at Atlantic City's 500 Club on July 25, 1946; the team lasted ten years to the day. Before they teamed up, Martin was a nightclub singer, while Lewis performed a comedy act lip-synching to records.
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The Jack Smith Show was a radio program of popular music in the United States. It was broadcast on CBS Aug. 21, 1945-Dec. 26, 1952. It first originated from New York, but production was moved to Hollywood in 1948 to allow more opportunities for Smith to work in movies.
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Hopalong Cassidy is a radio western in the United States, featuring the character Hopalong Cassidy created by writer Clarence E. Mulford. It was syndicated via electrical transcription, beginning in 1948 and continuing into 1950. Its network broadcasts began on Mutual January 1, 1950, and ended on CBS December 27, 1952.
The Abbott and Costello Show is a comedy program from the era of old-time radio in the United States. It was broadcast first on NBC and later on ABC, beginning on July 3, 1940 and ending on June 9, 1949.
Club Matinee is an American old-time radio variety show. It was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network from 1937 to 1943 and on ABC from 1945 to 1946.
The Dave Garroway Show is an American old-time radio variety program. It was broadcast on NBC from 1947 to June 17, 1955. The title is a generic name that can refer to programs that had other titles including Reserved for Dave Garroway, Dial Dave Garroway, and Fridays with Dave Garroway.
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The Greatest Story Ever Told is an American old-time radio religious drama. It was broadcast on ABC from January 26, 1947, until December 30, 1956. Beginning July 25, 1948, the program was also broadcast via shortwave radio to 58 other countries by the World Wide Broadcasting Foundation.
Hallmark Playhouse is an American old-time radio dramatic anthology series. It was broadcast on CBS from June 10, 1948 until February 1, 1953, and was described by one author as "a program that consistently produced the highest levels of production quality and value." Beginning on February 8, 1953, the program underwent changes of title, host, and format. It was broadcast as The Hallmark Hall of Fame until March 27, 1955, still on CBS.
Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge is an American old-time radio musical quiz program. It was broadcast on Mutual, NBC, and ABC beginning on February 1, 1938, and ending on July 29, 1949.
The Fitch Bandwagon was an American radio show that aired on NBC from 1938 to 1948. It was sponsored by the F.W. Fitch Shampoo Company, an Iowa-based manufacturer of hair care products. It aired on Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.
This Is Nora Drake is an American old-time radio soap opera. It was broadcast from October 27, 1947, to January 2, 1959, first on NBC and later on CBS. Beginning in May 1948, it was also carried on CFRB in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Martin and Lewis Show, com.