Artists in Action #505


Dean Martin hones his act

16 comments:

Tommy O'C said...

Apple juice. Every acquaintance in every Dino documentary says that's what he drank. He just pretended to be drunk. It's...apple juice...

Tom Sutpen said...

Doesn't matter if it was apple juice, Jack Daniels or motor oil, it was still his act (well . . . actually it was Joe E. Brown's act, but Martin put his stamp on it good and proper).

Robert Fiore said...

"Somebody put orange juice in my orange juice!" -- W.C. Fields

Kreisler said...

OK, well he finished on scotch and percodan making Cannonball Run II. Not a good act in the end.

estiv said...

I read somewhere not long ago about a bootleg of a performance he did in Vegas, made the night after a performance that had been recorded and released. Comparing the two recordings made it clear that the performance was pretty much the same. Every stumble, malapropism, aside to the bandleader, etc. Which is not a complaint. To do that and make it seem fresh each time takes skill of a very high order.

Testify said...

There's a great example of that act here (with Foster Brooks.As a Limey I'm not terribly familiar with Brooks work but having watched this clip endlessly I would like to count myself a fan!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8L-ZZSc8JU

Tommy O'C said...

Doesn't matter if it was apple juice, Jack Daniels or motor oil, it was still his act (well . . . actually it was Joe E. Brown's act, but Martin put his stamp on it good and proper).So who said it wasn't his act? And, ultimately, it began to matter a great deal what he was drinking--onstage or off.

Tom Sutpen said...

Big time correction:

I meant Joe E. Lewis . . . not the star of You Said a Mouthful and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Much like Lewis, Martin's drunk bit slowly evolved into the real thing, and with a Percodan chaser . . . which, as we know, was also Jerry's shtick; at least offstage.

Tommy O'C said...

Well said, Tom. Tragic but true.

Christopher said...

great Foster Brooks clip there Testify.Brooks was always the hilight of those Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.Nobody could top him for laughs!...I can't imagine being in a sketch with him and try to maintain a straight face!its not at all possible! ..lol

Brent McKee said...

"There's a great example of that act here (with Foster Brooks.As a Limey I'm not terribly familiar with Brooks work but having watched this clip endlessly I would like to count myself a fan!)"

The interesting thing about Foster Brooks is that he was a drunk who got sober. When he was drinking he was an adequate character actor seeming to be sober - check out some of his appearances in the 1968 "Dragnet." When he got sober he worked up the drunk act and became a star.

There's an interesting scene in the rather awful "Rat Pack" TV movie where all of the others (Frank, Peter Lawford and JFK) are in there hotel rooms drinking and getting laid by women who were not their wives. The last person we see is Dean having a glass of milk and watching TV.

Timmy said...

http://coolnessistimeless.blogspot.com/
There. Enough said...

Gene Casey said...

According to Tosches "Dino" it was percodan than gave Dean the fades. It wasn't pretty at the end, drooling as he vainly joked his way through 20 minutes twice nightly at the MGM Grand.

Tom Sutpen said...

Dean Martin is one of the few people in history who seemed to vanish into thin air while still retaining corporeal form.

(Saint Nick's Dino is, incidentally, a wondrous thing).

Tommy O'C said...

With all due respect to Dino and Tosches (who has been caught playing fast-and-loose with the facts before and since), it was Percodan washed down with generous helpings of Mister Booze.

Maria Jensen said...

Well in Dean's defense: he started drinking and taking lots off pills after his sons death! No parent should out live their children and thank god Dean was dead when his daughter died of cancer!!