Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts

Oct. 15, 2013
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest


Dean Martin was a talented entertainer from the old school—a singer as well as a comedian. He began as a nightclub vocalist in the Bing Crosby mode, but came to attention as Jerry Lewis’ straight man at a New York club. They drew much laughter in the late 1940s, appearing on television and radio and starring together in a string of movies, starting with My Friend Irma (1949). He went on to serious roles in Hollywood, became a charter member of the Rat Pack, and enjoyed a long afterlife on TV with “The Dean Martin Show” (1965-1974) and the occasional “Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts” (1974-1985).

A six-DVD set of “Celebrity Roasts” was released a few months back. Now comes the big holiday present for his fans, “The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Complete Collection.” The hulking box set features 54 roasts, including those that were originally part of his weekly series as well as the specials, plus a book with production materials and photos and a brace of documentaries shot for this set.

Martin looked a bit tipsy at times while hosting his roasts, but that only infused the scripted romps with spontaneity. The casts assembled for a single episode were often a little mind-boggling. Picture fright-wigged Phyllis Diller with Gen. Omar Bradley in full dress and Nipsey Russell tossing a barb at Gov. Ronald Reagan. Some of the humor has evaporated over time but many moments still crackle with hilarity. The “Complete Collection” amasses a who’s who of mid-century American entertainment, with Sammy Davis, Jr., Hank Aaron, George Burns, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Muhammed Ali, Don Rickles, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny and Ronald Reagan—to name just a dozen.




The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case to determine if Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting maps are too partisan. Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will order Wisconsin to redraw our legislative maps so the majority of legislative districts are competitive and voters will actually have a real choice between a Democrat and Republican?

Getting poll results. Please wait...