Jerry Lewis on taking criticism

In 1953, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis played London’s Palladium, the first appearance in England for what back then was America’s top entertainment act.

The Palladium audience loved them … except for a few anti-American demonstrators in the balcony, who booed. The next day, several British papers carried headlines that read, “Martin and Lewis Booed.”

An angered Martin told reporters that he and Lewis would never appear in England again because of its lousy critics.

The result: a wave of negative attention directed at the comedy team.

Looking back, Lewis now sees the error of Martin’s ways.

“People almost always side with the one who is being attacked,” Lewis writes.

The more Martin attacked his critics, Lewis realized, the worse he and his partner looked.

—Adapted from Dean & Me, Jerry Lewis, Random House.