Comedy icon Jerry Lewis says his special relationship with Dean Martin, and the specific time in history when they achieved fame, means their comedic chemistry can never be duplicated.

In an exclusive interview with, Lewis, 84, said the commercial success he and Martin enjoyed was a direct result of storming the scene in post-war America.

“Dean and I teamed up in ’46, we were the answer to America’s need for laughter,” Lewis said at the Friar’s Club in New York City, where he was being honored with a lifetime achievement award. “Had it been another time [in history], I don’t know what would have happened. But because of the timing, I said to him the first night that we got things happening ... that we have lightning in a bottle.”

Despite reports to the contrary, Lewis said he and Martin supported each other, even after they parted ways in 1956.

“He was so proud when I made it, “ Lewis said. 

And while Lewis praised Martin, Oscar-winner Quentin Tarantino offered praise for Lewis’ career, which has spanned six decades.

“Jerry Lewis has always dealt with genre in his stuff,” Tarantino told when we asked him how Lewis has inspired his own work. “And not necessarily spoofs, taking a set genre and not necessarily spoofing it, but going his own way with it. That’s just another description of what I do, he’s just done it his way.”

See more from Jerry Lewis’ lifetime achievement award ceremony below.