Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Best Of Dean Martin Variety Show - A Review

In 1965, Martin launched his weekly NBC comedy-variety series, The Dean Martin Show, which exploited his public image. It was there that he perfected his famous laid-back persona of the half-drunk crooner suavely hitting on beautiful women with hilarious remarks that would get anyone else slapped, and making snappy if slurred remarks about fellow celebrities during his famous roasts. Few entertainers worked as hard to make what they were doing look so easy.The TV show was a huge hit. Dean prided himself on memorizing whole scripts -- not merely his own lines. He disliked rehearsing because he firmly believed his best performances were his first performances. The show's loose format often prompted comedic, quick-witted improvisation from Dean and the rest of the cast. On occasion, he made remarks in Italian, some of them obscenities that brought angry mail from offended, Italian-speaking viewers. This prompted a battle between Martin and NBC censors, who insisted on more scrutiny of the show's content. As a result, the show was often in the Top Ten.

Guest List :
Ann-Margaret, Orson Wells, Goldie Hawn, Dom DeLuise, Frank Sinatra,Lucille Ball, John Wayne, Bill Cosby, Bing Crosby, Jonathan Winters, Don Rickles, Florence Henderson, Peter Sellers, Dom De Luise, Peter Sellers, Juliet Prowse, Gina Lollobrigida, Peggy Lee, James Stewart, Buddy Hackett, Rosemary Clooney, Petula Clark, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Art Carney, Steve Lawrence, Flip Wilson, Olivia Newton-John, Rich Little, Englbert Humperdink, Phil Silvers, Nipsey Russel, Jack Benny, Charles Nelson Reilly, Ed Sullivan, Michael Landon, Shirley Jones, Peter Falk, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Raquel Welch, Ginger Rogers, Robert Mitchum, Bob Newhart, Johnathan Winters, Minnie Pearl, Marty Feldman, Paul Lynde, and many many more..............................

What I Can Tell You:

This is a two disc set of Dean's shows.

As a child born in the late 60's these were the people who were on my TV. I love watching all these "cool cats" interact together.  I had to laugh at Dean smoking on camera during the show. So crazy how times have changed. You would never see the woman from The View smoking while on camera. One of my favorite things about these old shows is how much you can tell these guys like each other. When Bob Hope is roasting Dean there is real love. Everything seems very unscripted. I love how they laugh at themselves too. Very real TV!

My favorite moments
  • Bob Hope introducing Joel Gray as "a young fella". 
  • Orson Wells radio show with Dean doing all the sound effects.
  • All the silly jokes that were so innocent and sweet, reminding me of a kinder, gentler time when you didn't have to curse like a truck driver to get a laugh.
  • Jimmy Stewart and Dean Martin singing Rag Time Cowboy Joe
  • A Young Dom DeLuise, I love DOM!
  • Michael Landon singing Rock A Bye My Baby. So cute and cheesy but I love it.
  • Dom DeLuise and Dean doing the alphabet with Dean's girls in black leotards.
  • A much younger George Burns singing and telling a story, "It Was a Very Good Year." Awww...I miss George.
  • All the cheesy skits.

After researching, I am not surprised that Dean Martin died of lung cancer, he has a cigarette in his hand in almost every scene.

I had such a good time watching this and will be taking it out for many years so I can relive my youth but also remember a time when we knew why someone was a celebrity. These people were real entertainers, they were stars!

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