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-syncing to records. They performed in nightclubs, and, starting in 1949, on radio. Later they branched out into television and films. In their early radio days they performed as Martin and Lewis but later became hugely popular as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. These full names helped them launch successful solo careers after parting.
The 500 Club, popularly known as The Five, was a nightclub and supper club at 6 Missouri Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States. It was owned by the gangster Paul "Skinny" D'Amato, and operated from the 1930's until the building burned down in a tragic insurance fire in 1973. It became one of the most popular nightspots on the East Coast, and housed the first (illegal) casino to be run in the city.
The main bar was large and black, with black and white zebra-patterned wallpaper on the walls of the room. An indoor waterfall surrounded by imitation exotic vegetation stood in the back. The club's main showroom, the Vermilion Room, often featured the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr.