Dean Martin’s NBC variety show was truly one of a kind when it came to spontaneous, laid-back atmosphere. The late Greg Garrison, Martin’s TV producer and director, compiled several highlight videos from the 1965-74 series. Volume 4 is among the best, with a memorable assortment of famous guests (ranging from Rosemary Clooney to Jimmy Stewart), unrehearsed skits (a Western spoof featuring Roy Rogers and Don Rickles collapses into a hilarious shambles) and wonderful surprises (you never knew who was behind that closet door). Naturally, the show would not be complete without Dino’s smooth crooning and endless drunk jokes. Like fine scotch, Martin’s freewheeling approach to television has aged well.
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DVDs of THE BEST OF THE DEAN MARTIN VARIETY SHOW (2001) were once available from GUTHY-RENKER via a TV infomercial. There are 30 individual one-hour compilations in this series, which has since become somewhat of a collectible. (Note: these are highlights only, not complete programs.)
Title card seen here was also used as THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW LP cover. Audio is clean mono. Colors in these dubs of well-preserved tape excerpts are vibrant.
CONTENTS for Volume 4–
Opening moologue and song: “Things”
Dean pumps pipe organ for Minnie Pearl’s rendition of “Truckload of Starving Kangaroos”
Bill Cosby monologue: “Revenge,” from the 1967 comedy album of the same name; NBC censored the last line
Song: “Real Live Girl”
Jimmy Stewart intros domestic skit: Dean and Audrey Meadows
Rosemary Clooney and Dean song medley adds their first names to lyrics
Woody Allen monologue: blind date with future second wife
Skit: Don Rickles’ barkeep insults Dean’s Oklahoma Kid and the Kid’s challenger, Roy Rogers; with Dale Evans
‘Love’ song medley with Petula Clark includes “If This Isn’t Love” from her 1968 film, FINIAN’S RAINBOW
Lyric one-liners with Ken Lane; Dean’s Uncle Leonard emerges from closet to do a novelty dance
With Buddy Hackett, who recalls stage plays he acted in such as THE DESPERATE HOURS
Popular tune medley with Lena Horne
KING KONG parody: Goldie Hawn, Dean and the ape stuck in Empire State Building elevator
Down south medley with Michael Landon
Skit: Frank Sinatra and Dean meet in park, matched up by computer dating service
Rowan & Martin gunfight skit narrated by Bill Cosby, with Dean as sheriff
Producer/director Greg Garrison on doing complete theme song; Dean ends season by singing “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime” in its entirety, accompanied by Ken Lane’s piano
I loved Bill Cosby and Don Rickles in some of the sketch comedy presented in this DVD but once again this is a compilation from several different shows. Is there no way to get these shows on DVD by season, like you can with almost any other television program?