Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were really well-suited to live television. Their free-wheeling style, their way of giving the impression that they didn't really care too much what was going on, and their pure highly-charged performance energy made them better live than any other way. This Martin & Lewis-histed episode of "The Colgate Comedy Hour" is a pretty good example of the team being characteristically uninhibited and fun. Within the first few moments one of Dean's gags involving a pot of bad soup goes awry. He hasn't been provided with chalk, so he just tells the audience what was supposed to happen. It's that kind of good energy.
The whole first sketch is good, the first few minutes playing out almost totally silently with Jerry actually getting a character rather than a person-sized ball of loud. The second sketch, however, in which Dean adopts Jerry as a suspiciously-old-looking child, isn't quite so funny for me -- it relies to much on the directionless mugging and noise-making that Jerry Lewis could sometimes fall into.
At one point Lewis gets a laugh by explaining to the audience that he would have to just sit there for three minutes, as the writers couldn't think of anything fro him to do. Maybe he legitimately couldn't sit still, as I think he ends up getting fewer laughs through his mugging and fidgeting.
Talking of getting laughs (or not) through doing nothing (or not), there's a surprise guest star here whose appearance I won't spoil. Suffice it to say he was upset about not being payed. It's a small appearance but a very fun one.
This episode is also enhanced by a live performance of Dean singing "Mambo Italiano," which just can't lose.
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