Martin And Lewis Show

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. Martin and Lewis made promotional appearances on various programs prior to the air of their own show. The Martin & Lewis Show went on the air on April 3, 1949, still searching for a sponsor. The network spent $10,000 per show, paying each star $1,000 a week. After a riotous movie and further difficulty finding a radio sponsor for their show, The Martin & Lewis Show went off the air after broadcasting what they thought was their last old time radio show on January 30, 1950. However, they couldn’t keep these two down for long, because they were rip roaring and ready to go on another self-titled radio program just over a year later.

LINK: Martin And Lewis-WikiPedia

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