From 1946 to 1956, there was arguably no greater comedy duo in America than that of Martin and Lewis — that is, Dean and Jerry — the velvet-toned crooner lothario and his spastic, rubber-faced partner. Together, they packed the top nightclubs in the country, made 17 movies, and appeared on television and radio innumerable times. And then it all ended, as abruptly as it began, leading to an infamous, decades-long feud.
In 1949, as the team’s star was still rising, LIFE sent photographer Ralph Morse to capture the antics at New York City’s Copacabana nightclub for a cover story. Many of the photos never made it into the magazine. Now, in honor of the duo’s first performance together 65 years ago, they are published here for the very first time.
see more — Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis: Unpublished Photos