Almost Like Being In Love: The Dean Martin Variety Show UNCUT

An in-depth review, plus insights and analysis, focusing on the third Dean Martin Show DVD outing from Time-Life and NBC.


BREAKING NEWS — EXCLUSIVE:
Just as this review was about to be posted (the online equivalent of going to press), The Golddiggers Super Site received confirmation that Time-Life has definite plans to produce more Dean Martin Show DVDs, culled from the archives of NBC. We’ll report further details as we receive them.

Now, on to our comprehensive look at the most recently-issued set:


JUST IN TIME: Before Time-Life’s new 3-DVD set came along, many fans who yearned for whole shows believed their time for hope was running low. They figured all was lost, the losing dice were tossed, their bridges all were crossed, and there was nowhere to go. But with the release of six unedited episodes on May 22nd, most feel that the suppliers of this product found their way, changing life for the better that lucky day.

After Time-Life‘s release during the past year of two separate collections of episodes from The Dean Martin Show — episodes marked by substantial edits that left fans disappointed and discouraged — the company’s third entry in the franchise proves to be the charm: The Dean Martin Variety Show Uncut, is, unequivocally, a cut above.

What a pleasure it is — indeed, it feels like a luxury — to be able to view the programs in their entirety, the way they were originally broadcast on NBC, without watching in dread of those wince-inducing deletions that marred and scarred the two earlier sets of T-L’s DMS DVDs. From the NBC peacock at the top of the show to the network’s trademark snake and chimes at the bottom, these half-dozen gems are the real deal.

AIN’T SHE SWEET…Yet sublimely saucy, too. Abbe Lane, fourth wife of Cuban bandleader Xavier Cugat and a fiery chanteuse in her own right, brought her powerful pipes and seductive charms to Dean’s show a number of times during the early years of the series — in this instance (above and below), cooing “Whatever Lola Wants”, from the musical Damn Yankees, on Disc 1.


o


VOLARE: The 3/3/66 episode, seen on Disc 1, soars above the standard pop canon, as it takes on a decidedly Italian flavor with two quintessential Neopolitan songs. First, American soprano Marguerite Piazza beckons the audience to “Come Back To Sorrento”, before joining Dean (above) on a vocal journey to “Santa Lucia”.
o

PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ME, HONEY: And if Dean’s involved, he may well have both arms occupied, as he does in this humor-tinged medley of songs about “Dames”, seen on Disc 1.

It’s A Good Day

As we noted last March, when The Golddiggers Super Site broke the news of what material this newest edition would feature, the Uncut discs emphasize quality over quantity: Instead of the 18 to 20 condensed episodes that comprised the first two 6-DVD sets and proved less than satisfying, we are treated this time around to 6 unabridged shows, ensuring that every musical number seen in the original telecasts, including Dean’s, has remained intact in its home video reissue (save for one that had been irretrievably damaged over time — for specifics, see our rundown of musical highlights at the end of this article).

The 6 Uncut episodes, spread over 3 DVDs, span the first six years (1965-71) of The Dean Martin Show’s 9-year run, with one show each from Seasons 1, 2 and 6, and three from Season 3. As such, this installment (with the exception of the episode from the ’70-’71 season) leans heavily toward the series’ early years, reflecting fashions and styles more café society than swinging ’60s, music more standards-oriented than pop-inflected, comedy more broad vaudeville than sharp satire, guest stars more Old Hollywood than New Wave, and a host still dark-maned, trim, full of youthful energy and enthusiasm, and in great voice.o


MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: Many of the comedy routines on older variety shows seem passé when compared to today’s more explicit material, but several of the acts on the new Uncut collection, including the one above fronted by the team of Marty Allen (center) and Steve Rossi (right), are so zany that they hold up surprisingly well.
o
I GOT RHYTHM: Indeed, George Gershwin’s ”Fascinating Rhythm”, as interpreted by Leslie Uggams (above), with an assist from Jack Sperling on drums (below), makes for fascinating viewing on the 1/12/67 episode, seen on Disc 1.
Though her own 1969 variety series on CBS failed to catch on, Leslie frequently turned up on other star’s programs during the ’60s, and her standout performance here shows why.


o

OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL: Dean sings it to a toy doll on Disc 1 (above), then romps with some live ones (including a pre-Dingaling Helen Funai, third from left below) on Disc 2.

With superb musical selections and diverse, highly entertaining lineups, these 6 episodes are a representative sampling of the formative years of Dean’s series that serves as a showcase not just for the performers on screen, but also the gifted men and women who toiled behind the scenes — not the least among them, Producer-Director Greg Garrison, whose creative decisions always kept the action moving and displayed on-camera talent to its best advantage; and Musical Director Lee Hale, whose endlessly ingenious arrangements infused the show with rich, glorious melodies that helped lift it above every other variety program of its era.

STEPPIN’ OUT WITH MY BABY: Whether tapping with dancer Barbara Perry (above) or with Dean (below), Eddie Foy Jr., best known of The Seven Little Foys immortalized in the 1955 Bob Hope film of the same name, mixes humor with years of honed show business polish to enliven the 1/12/67 edition of Dean’s show.


o

SHALL WE DANCE?: Few ever did it better than Cyd Charisse, as she demonstrates to the appropriate accompaniment of “Music To Watch Girls By” (above & below), before attempting to coax some steps out of Dean (further below), who demurs with “I Won’t Dance”.

Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Reaction to the new Uncut anthology has thus far been overwhelmingly favorable — in stark contrast to numerous and vehement complaints leveled against the excisions of the first two T-L sets — but even this latest release has drawn a few minor criticisms. Although we feel that these gripes are trifling and largely unjustified, we deem it important to address them, lest they cause anyone to think twice about purchasing an item that we believe should be a must-buy for anyone who’s a devotee of Dean, or for that matter, anyone who appreciates compelling musical performances.

Some who’ve reviewed the Uncut DVDs have questioned the choice of episodes, finding them dated or just not terribly engaging. Many, though by no means all, of those unimpressed with these particular shows admit to being of a younger generation that came of age after variety programs had mostly faded from prime-time TV schedules. Having been conditioned by the faster pace of fare such as music videos, it may be that these individuals can’t quite fathom the appeal of more leisurely-paced song-and-dance offerings.

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING: Lovely Barbara McNair enjoyed a two-year run, from 1969-71, with her own syndicated variety series, but found time both before, during and after to guest on other such skeins, as when she visited Dean’s for the 11/16/67 episode (above and below), shown on Disc 2.

Then there are those who may be slightly older and whose view of the episodes in the Uncut collection is skewed by their having a better recollection of The Dean Martin Show’s later seasons, which, by contemporary standards, were certainly more modern in tone and appearance than the earlier seasons.

Of course, assessments of this kind tend to be highly subjective and a matter of individual taste. Nevertheless, we would contend that what both of the aforesaid groups of folks may be overlooking is that the earlier episodes were simply a product of their time, in the same way that movies and musicals of the ’50s and ’60s have a different sensibility than those that followed in the ’70s and ’80s. All have their place, and for those who, no matter what their age, have deep affection for the vintage stuff (and fortunately, a large number of younger people seem to join their elders in this category), the Uncut collection will unquestionably hit the spot.

S’WONDERFUL: A frequent visitor to The Dean Martin Show during its early seasons, Caterina Valente infused her performances with a continental flair that both sparkled when she soloed (above), and mingled gracefully with Dean’s style when the two worked in tandem (below).

And in a seriocomic sketch on the 12/14/67 episode included on Disc 2 (above and below), she also matched the vulnerability and pathos of Dom DeLuise’s character with a delicately rendered turn of her own.

One or two online critics have also carped about the technical quality of the episodes that make up the DMS Uncut set. What they seem to forget is how we viewed those episodes when they first aired. Back then, the vast majority of us had only black-and-white sets, and even those lucky (and rich) enough to have color ones were watching on screens much smaller than today’s, with far lower resolution. As Denny Coyle, one of the many perceptive regular contributors to our sister website, Dean, Golds, and Dings, has rightly pointed out about the digitally remastered Uncut episodes, “the quality is at least as good or better than we saw when they were the originally broadcast so many years ago.”

MY KIND OF GIRL: Make that girls, since it’s often the plural form of the female gender that one finds surrounding Dean — and in the case of the three above, their trio’s sobriquet even bears their boss’ name. Melissa Stafford, Julie Rinker and Diana Lee (l. to r. above and below) were actually the first ladies on the show to be called Dean’s Girls, a handle eventually applied to all of the series’ pre-Golddiggers/ Dingalings female singer-dancers. During the 1967-68 season, the vocalizing trinity both performed their own standalone numbers, and harmonized with the host, as on the episode depicted here, originally telecast on 12/14/67 and contained on Disc 2.


o


I LOVE A PIANO: The first two Dean Martin Show sets from Time-Life included the banter that would take place on each week’s episode between Dean and his pianist, Ken Lane, but omitted most of the song parodies that were an integral part of the segment, to avoid having to pay for the rights to the music. Thankfully, because this third, Uncut collection truly lives up to its title, all of Lee Hale’s clever song send-ups have been left as is.

Call Me Irresponsible

Nowadays, anyone with a website can profess to be a critic, and one extraordinarily uninformed character in this mold has gone so far as to allege that the episodes that make up the Uncut set really aren’t uncut at all. As his supposed proof, he cites a comedy sketch on one episode in which he detected an abrupt cut. What this person is apparently unaware of (most likely because he’s largely unfamiliar with the series) is that the original shows themselves were often trimmed, due to time requirements or to keep the programs’ pace flowing.

The simple fact is that besides the one musical number that Time-Life candidly acknowledged had to be snipped because it was unsalvageable, the 6 episodes in the Uncut collection are indeed COMPLETELY UNCUT — and anyone who would argue to the contrary is not only acting utterly irresponsibly, doing a huge disservice to Dean Martin fans, but also revealing himself to be, as George Will recently labeled Donald Trump, “a bloviating ignoramus.”

Wishin’ And Hopin’

Finally, we’ve come across one or two fence-sitters online, who claim to be holding out for complete season sets. To them, we would say respectfully: Don’t hold your breath. The fact is that there are certain musical numbers from the series that, regrettably, may not be able to be shown again for years, if ever, no matter how much money might be thrown at their owners, either because the owners refuse to give their permission or because the rights are tied up in litigation or other commitments.

Consequently, we would make the case that those of us of the generation most apt to treasure The Dean Martin Show are reaching an age when it would be foolhardy to postpone the pleasure of seeing what we can see now for a future outcome that may well never come to pass.

What’s more — and this may surprise many, if not most, of our readers — even if they were feasible, we would actually advise against the issuance of full season sets, in favor of a more diversified release slate — and here’s why:

Many of us are aware of what’s happened in the past when a TV series made its long-awaited debut on DVD, starting with its first season, only to sell poorly, with the result that later seasons wind up never making it to market.

Since we already know that connoisseurs of The Dean Martin Show divide into different camps — those who prefer the early years, those more partial to the later ones, and those who like them equally — why take a chance on disaffecting a whole faction of Dino denizens by risking a complete season reissue that may not live up to sales expectations and therefore puts the kibosh on future releases?

Instead, we’d advocate a more eclectic approach that takes the basic concept of the current Uncut set and expands on it: To please as many DMS fans at one time as possible — and help ensure that the whole project doesn’t run off the rails — we recommend that future releases offer one uncut episode from each season of the series. Since such a bundle would thus contain a couple of more episodes than the current Uncut release, it would obviously have to be priced somewhat higher, but even so, it would still be within an eminently affordable range. And this way, every fan would have some incentive to add future sets to his or her collection.

I FEEL PRETTY: And if you were Joey Heatherton, why wouldn’t you? Six months before she would go on to co-host the very first season of the Dean Martin Presents The Golddiggers summer replacement series, the blonde sex kitten who had already sizzled on Dean’s program a number of times (including on his 1965 debut), as well as traveled the world on two USO tours with Bob Hope, set the stage ablaze on the 1/25/68 DM show (above and below), before returning later in the program with a sensitive ballad (further below), and then pairing up with Dean for a mod take on his hit, “Just In Time”, from the 1960 feature film Bells Are Ringing (still further below). All of it’s on view on Uncut‘s Disc 3.


o

COUNTRY ROADS: Years before he became more famous for co-hosting, with Roy Clark, the long-running hillbilly answer to Laugh-In, TV’s Hee Haw, Buck Owens and his Buckaroos were riding high on the country music charts. Dropping in on Dean’s hoedown in January ’68, the band tore through a spirited “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone” (above), before Buck teamed with Dino for “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” — all seen on Disc 3.

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC: Hatched by R&B songwriter/vocalist Rufus Thomas at the beginning of 1970, the soul-cookin’ “Do The Funky Chicken” was poached later that summer by The Golddiggers In London, wherein Tommy Tune strutted as lead rooster on the number, backed by several of the program’s resident chicks.
But it was in the fall of 1970, on Dean’s weekly wingding, that the tune really broke out of its shell, when Michelle DellaFave (second from left above, and again below) led her Dingaling Sisters Susie Lund (above left), Tara Leigh (third from left above), and Wanda Bailey (above right) through a torrid rendition that witnessed fringe (rather than feathers) flying fast and furious — as those who purchase the Uncut set can discover for themselves on Disc 3.

The Dings were also invited to serve up the “Funky Chicken” to American service personnel on Bob Hope’s 1970 USO Tour, and the whole country got a gander at it on Hope’s annual Christmas special, telecast on NBC in January 1971.

Some 36 years later, Michelle, Susie and Wanda reunited to stage the number anew, this time before hundreds of vets (many of whom had seen them do it back during the 1970 Hope Tour) at the 2007 convention of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Since then, Michelle has gone on to entertain audiences with a solo version of the song, both in her own act and during her Blue Eyed Soul concerts with another Dingaling Sisters colleague and friend, Lindsay Bloom.

None of this, of course, does anything to resolve that age-old question of which came first — the chicken or the egg?…

You Do Something To Me

Precious few episodes of variety series have ever been released on DVD in their complete, original form, and that’s because obtaining the necessary rights to all of the musical numbers in any given episode is a tremendously complex, time-consuming and expensive proposition. Thus, executives at Time-Life, NBC Universal and The Dean Martin Family Trust deserve enormous credit for responding to the pleas of The Dean Martin Show’s fan base with bold and meaningful action— coming through with whole, uncut episodes of the best variety show ever made, at an amazingly reasonable price. For many of us who’ve patiently waited years for this moment to arrive, it’s almost too good to be true.

So, there must be a catch, right? Well, no, we promise that in this case, there is no catch…But we do have a concern — and it’s this:

There’s been some speculation online that the six shows in the new Uncut compendium were picked primarily because the rights to the music contained in them were available and could be cleared without incurring too much expense. While it’s hard to imagine that those factors wouldn’t be taken into consideration with regard to ANY home entertainment release, any bearing that they might have on this particular collection in no way diminishes how enjoyable these six programs are to watch. With their strong repeatability quotient, the shows are keepers in every sense of the word.

What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

However, looking ahead, we can’t help but wonder about the prospects for potential future Dean Martin Show DVD releases. As we first reported back in March, those well-connected with this venture have told us that if this current set sells well, there will be more to come. And indeed, as we announced at the beginning of this piece, we’ve now learned that production of future editions will definitely proceed.

But will episodes that contain even more musical content than found in the six most recent ones — especially shows featuring long medleys and/or song-laden spots such as Musical Questions — prove possible to clear in their entirety?

That question brings us back once again to the issue of price and its relationship to the number of episodes packaged per reissue. It seems pretty clear that the overwhelming sentiment among fans is for fewer, uncut shows per set, versus a larger number of edited ones.

But to reinforce that point, fans need to support this current collection. The obvious way to do that is by buying a copy for themselves, but they can also aid the cause by purchasing it as a gift for someone else, and by letting the powers that be know, in online forums such as this one, how much we fans desire unabridged episodes.

The Dean Martin Variety Show Uncut is a breakthrough — one that all who love Dean and his series should hope represents not just a one-time experiment, but a turning point in the franchise’s history. However, if we want to keep the uncut collections coming, we need to make our voices heard — with both our words and our wallets. Because to go back to anything less than uncut episodes would be, as Marc Antony termed Brutus’ stabbing of Julius Caesar, “the most unkindest cut of all.”

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD: It’s perhaps fitting that a Dean Martin Show collection that gave fans the unedited approach to episodes that they’d long craved would be topped off by a deliciously sweet coda that they’ve waited more than four decades to behold again.

The much-revered “Welcome To My World” medleys, blending three dulcet tunes on which Dean harmonized with The Golddiggers in a relaxed setting, capped each weekly edition of the series’ 6th season, sending viewers off to dreamland with the beautiful strains of Lee Hale’s arrangements, Van Alexander’s orchestrations, and the soft sounds of Dean and his girls gently streaming through the ether. (above, l. to r.: Michelle DellaFave, Susan Lund, Wanda Bailey)

Marking the first time that one of these segments has been reissued in its entirety on DVD (but hopefully not the last), the “Welcome To My World” medley from the 2/25/71 episode of Dean’s series, contained on Disc 3, constitutes the pièce de résistance of a deeply satisfying set of shows. (above: left of Dean, Pat Mickey; right of Dean, Jackie Chidsey; back row left, Paula Cinko; back row right, Rosetta Cox)
o

(above: Liz Kelley, Pauline Antony)
o
(above: Tara Leigh)
o
(above: King of his World)

All The Way

At the end of our review of Time-Life’s first Dean Martin Show treasury, we provided a chart listing all 20 episodes included in that set and contrasted the musical content of the shows as they were originally telecast on NBC with what was included in the T-L edition, and with segments from the same episodes found in the earlier Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show volumes from Guthy-Renker. The purpose of this comparison was to point out what had been retained in the T-L discs vs. what had been excluded, and to let fans know how they could fill in some of the gaps.

Presenting the same type of rundown for the new Uncut set is a much happier exercise, because we can demonstrate that all of the musical numbers (save for the one already mentioned and noted again below) have been left intact, and have little overlap with what’s come before from Guthy-Renker (incidentally, important news about the G-R volumes appears at the end of this article).
o

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 3/3/66 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “The Birds And The Bees” Disc 1
The Lettermen: West Side Story Medley: “Something’s Coming” / “Maria” / “Cool” / “Tonight” Disc 1
Abbe Lane (with dancers): “Whatever Lola Wants” Disc 1
Dean Martin, Abbe Lane & Sid Caesar: “Real Live Girl” Disc 1
Marguerite Piazza: “Come Back To Sorrento” Disc 1
Dean Martin & Marguerite Piazza: “Santa Lucia” Disc 1
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 1
Dean Martin: “Hands Across The Table” Disc 1
Dean Martin, Sid Caesar & George Gobel: “Dames” Medley: ““There Is Nothing Like A Dame” / “Smiles” / “Standing On The Corner” / “Girls” / “I Can Always Find A Little Sunshine In The Y.M.C.A.” Disc 1

o

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 1/12/67 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “A Marshmallow World” Disc 1
Steve Rossi: “My Lonely Room” Disc 1
Marty Allen & Steve Rossi: “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” Disc 1
Leslie Uggams (with Jack Sperling on drums & dancers): Medley: “Fascinating Rhythm” / “Slap That Bass” Disc 1
Dean Martin & Leslie Uggams: Medley: “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive” / “Clap Yo Hands” / “Snap Your Fingers” Disc 1
Dean Martin & dancers: “Playmates” Station Break Tease Disc 1 Special Edition Vol.
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 1 Vol. 14
Dean Martin: “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” Disc 1 Vol. 14
Eddie Foy Jr. & dancers mime to “Standing On The Corner” Disc 1
Eddie Foy Jr. (accompanied in dancing by Barbara Perry): “Gigi” (comic version) Disc 1
Dean Martin & Eddie Foy Jr. tap-dance to “Tea For Two” Disc 1
Dean Martin, Leslie Uggams, Eddie Foy Jr., Marty Allen, Steve Rossi, Jackie Mason: Back Porch Medley: “Sing Along” / “On Moonlight Bay” / “Heart Of My Heart” / “When You Wore A Tulip And I Wore A Big Red Rose” / “Toot Toot Tootsie (Goodbye)” / “Ma (She’s Making Eyes At Me” / “I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover” Disc 1

o

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 11/16/67 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Turn to Me” Disc 2 Vol. 6
Cyd Charisse dances to “Music To Watch Girls By” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Cyd Charisse: “I Won‘t Dance” Disc 2
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 2
Dean Martin: “Nevertheless” Disc 2
Buddy Ebsen, Wisa D’Orso & Dean’s Girls: “I Like The Likes Of You” Disc 2 Vol. 20
Dean Martin & Buddy Ebsen: ‘Sam’s Song” Disc 2 Vol. 20
Barbara McNair: “Nothing Can Stop Me Now”; “Where Am I Going?” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Barbara McNair: “Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea” Disc 2
Dean Martin, Buddy Ebsen & Dom DeLuise: “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again” Disc 2
Dean Martin, Cyd Charisse, Barbara McNair, Buddy Ebsen, Dom DeLuise: “That’s Entertainment” Finale: “That’s Entertainment” / “Bye Bye Blues” / “He Touched Me” / “Be My Love” Disc 2 (full version) Vol. 23 (edited)

o

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 12/14/67 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Where Or When” Disc 2
Caterina Valente: “What A Night This Is Going To Be” Disc 2
Caterina Valente (w. dancers): “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Caterina Valente: “Rain”  Medley: “Rain” / “I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine” / “Sunny Side Up” / “Look For The Silver Lining” / “There’s a Rainbow Round My Shoulder” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Dean’s Girls: “Walking on New Grass” Disc 2
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 2
Dean Martin: “Oh, You Beautiful Doll” Disc 2
Dean Martin, Caterina Valente & Dom DeLuise perform in a bittersweet sketch, set to the soundtrack of Caterina singing “Ten Cents A Dance” Disc 2 Vol. 7
Dean Martin, Caterina Valente, Bob Newhart & Dom DeLuise: “Seven-and-a-Half Cents” Disc 2

o

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 1/25/68 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Things” Disc 3
Joey Heatherton & Dancers: “You Came A Long Way From St. Louis” Disc 3
Dean’s Girls: “My Mammy” Intro to Bob Melvin (w. special lyrics) Disc 3
Dean & Dean’s Girls high-kick to an instrumental version of “Who Cares” for a Station Break Tease Disc 3
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 3
Dean Martin: “Welcome To My World” Disc 3
Buck Owens and The Buckaroos: “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone” Disc 3
Dean Martin & Buck Owens: “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail”; “Love’s Gonna Live Here” Disc 3 (as Time-Life has acknowledged,  “Love’s Gonna Live Here” had to be cut because the original tape was damaged beyond repair)
Joey Heatherton: “You Can Have Him” Disc 3
Dean Martin & Joey Heatherton: “Just in Time” Disc 3

o

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2/25/71 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “There’s A Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder” Disc 3
The Dingaling Sisters: “Do The Funky Chicken” Disc 3
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 3
Dean Martin: “It’s The Talk Of The Town” Disc 3
Dean Martin & Zero Mostel: “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” Disc 3 Vol. 14
Dean Martin, Zero Mostel & Tommy Tune: “Me And My Shadow” Disc 3 Vol. 18
Zero Mostel & Kay Medford: “Do You Love Me?” Disc 3 Vol. 15
Dean Martin & The Golddiggers: “Welcome to My World” Medley: “I Could Write a Book” / “Just Friends” / “It’s Easy to Remember” Disc 3
o

So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You

One final word about the Guthy-Renker volumes: Remember the company’s infomercials warning that their own Dean Martin Show collection would soon be going back into the vault? Many people thought they were bluffing in order to goose sales. Well, evidently, they weren’t just whistling Dixie.

Guthy-Renker has, in fact, stopped marketing the discs — this time, for good — no doubt as a stipulation of the settlement of the lawsuit filed back in 2007 by NBCUniversal against G-R, Greg Garrison Productions and others. For the time being, individual volumes of Guthy-Renker’s Dean Martin Show collection can still be found on Amazon, ebay, and a few other websites — but, as they say in the advertisements, “When they’re gone, they’re gone.”
o

o
If you’d like to comment on this article or share your views about The Dean Martin Show on DVD, please feel free to do so in the space provided below.

For the latest updates on these and all other matters pertaining to Dean Martin, be sure to click the Like button on the Facebook page of our sister website, Dean, Golds and Dings, where you’re cordially invited to join not only other fans of Dean Martin but many alumnae of The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters, as well. Participate in ongoing conversations, or just observe — the choice is yours. To get started, just click below:

12 Responses to Almost Like Being In Love: The Dean Martin Variety Show UNCUT

  1. Paul M. Mock says:

    Overall I am happy to have the new set. It does bring back fond memories. However, it is sad to see how poorly the show’s production level and content slid in the final years. It became trash. However, if another set comes out and there are some big name guests to enjoy romping around with Dean you can count me in!

  2. Kylie Hughes says:

    Wow !
    The great news about further releases of The Dean Martin Shows has really made my day 🙂
    I have been hoping so much news would come of further dvd releases of uncut shows.
    The first Uncut release was fantastic !
    Every episode was so wonderful and I like that Time Life released the shows in this way from different seasons.
    I personally found the shows and the quality perfect, no complaints at all, only praise.
    Naturally like any Dean Martin fan I`d love to own every season of the Dean Martin Shows but I realise this would be impossible and as you mentioned here, if Season 1 could be released in full, we might end up with only having the one season.
    The first episodes of The Dean Martin Show didn`t do so well in the ratings, Dean was just another Ed Sullivan at first.
    But when Greg Garrison became involved the shows became classics and The Dean Martin Shows ran for 9 years.
    When Season 1 of Rawhide came out for sale, I looked up the Dean Martin episode Canliss and saw this episode was in the 7th season.
    I had never seen Rawhide but I knew it was a popular show and I expected the seasons to sell quickly.
    But after the first couple of seasons there was a long wait before anymore were released.
    I`m pleased to say Season 7 of Rawhide has finally been released 🙂
    I just ordered it.
    Back to The Dean Martin Shows, I just want as many episodes released as possible in any order.
    Every season was great 🙂
    I urge Time Life to keep those shows coming and I want to thank Time Life, NBC and everybody involved with these releases 🙂
    Hugs and Kisses
    from Kylie xxxoooxxx

  3. Video Vision says:

    Excellent points, Kylie, which you’ve smartly illustrated with some perfectly-chosen real-world examples of the potential hazards of releasing complete-season sets.

    No doubt, you speak for all Dean Martin fans in wanting to see reissues of every episode of his series, but naturally, none of us wants weak sales of one full season to result in the discontinuation of additional season releases. That’s why we favor the approach of each future set featuring one uncut show from each season as the better way to go, and we’re glad that you agree…But of course, we welcome not only concurring, but differing, opinions, as well.

    Needless to say, the decision on how to proceed ultimately rests with Time-Life, NBCUniversal and The Dean Martin Family Trust; but make no mistake: Executives at those entities follow our posts, read these responses, and DO take our views into account.

  4. Grace Werlitz says:

    Finally a set of uncut shows! Why don’t they release the whole series like they do with the others. I know why MONEY!!! We who enjoy watching Dino do his thing would love to see them all UNCUT!!!!!

  5. Steve Lecher says:

    This review is very fair and I am impressed that no whitewashing of negativism has occurred. I went to Amazon’s site, expecting to see glowing reviews of this set and was dismayed to see criticism of the content and the video quality of the package. I was dismayed because I am delighted with these 6 episodes.

    These are the shows that I remember. The songs are here, the cute “Jeannie” jokes, the (frankly boring) dancers, saved by follow-up sessions with Dean, his lovely chemistry with his female guest stars, like Caterina Valenti and Joey Heatherton, his joking around with Ken Lane, oddball guests like David and Goliath and Professor Backwards, and did I mention the songs? I just smiled throughout these 6 episodes.

    The video quality ranges from OK to very good on the 1971 episode. It’s certainly on a par with the Gunthy Renker video quality and it’s what I might expect from a mid 1960’s variety show. There may be better individual episodes throughout this series’ run, but these entertained and they weren’t filled with stuff we’ve already seen on the G/R installments. I really wonder if some viewers have longed for this material for so long that they’ve built it into something in their memory that the real product can’t really achieve. I can’t believe that any Dean Martin fan doesn’t love this set.

    I tend to enjoy the early years the most; the shows from 1965-1969. I very much endorse the idea here of sets with a show from each season, but I will buy any set that has uncut episodes from any year. I understand that they might have to be more expensive than other sets but I say, bring them on. Now, if an episode containing the song, “In The Misty Moonlight” could be released, I’ld really be a happy Dean Martin fan.

  6. Video Vision says:

    Steve, we appreciate your observations, and agree that if anyone who watched and enjoyed The Dean Martin Show during its first six seasons experiences any disappointment with the six episodes chosen for the Uncut set, it may very well be because the actual programs can’t live up to some idealized nostalgic recollections that some may have of them.

    But like you, as well as the vast majority of those who’ve bought and sung the praises of The Dean Martin Variety Show Uncut, we’re delighted with what we’ve seen and eagerly await future installments.

  7. Alexander says:

    While this is absolutely amazing news, I wish they would release a box set so I could own every episode!….

  8. Video Vision says:

    Alexander, no doubt most of Dean’s fans would love to see every episode of his series made available, but there are practical reasons why that’s unlikely to ever happen (see the section entitled “Wishin’ and Hopin’” in our article above). However, if we continue to see the release of uncut shows and support them with our purchasing power and praise, then we’ll be way ahead of where we were a few years ago and where most of us thought we’d ever be.

  9. Alan MC, Wales says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Uncut shows. More please. Just a shame they aren’t available for UK market.

  10. Video Vision says:

    Alan, while it’s true that The Dean Martin Variety Show Uncut isn’t directly marketed outside of the U.S. and Canada, there are no restrictions on anyone from other countries buying the DVDs. Simply bear in mind that in order to view them, it’s necessary to have a DVD deck capable of playing discs in the NTSC format and encoded for Region 1. But if they’re so equipped, there’s no reason why Dean Martin fans around the world can’t partake of the same Dino delights as their North American cousins.

  11. I work for Steve Rossi of the comedy team Allen and Rossi pictured in this article. Steve would love to see his appearance on the Dean Martin show again. Please let me know where it is available.

    Check out what Steve is up to these days at TheLegendarySteveRossi.com

  12. Video Vision says:

    The Allen and Rossi segment depicted in our article above is featured on Disc 1 of Time-Life’s The Dean Martin Variety Show Uncut, which is available both at retail and online, including at Amazon.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: