The Dean Martin Infomercial

I see dead people. There’s hardly anyone on here Stef would recognize, yet most of the participants had a higher profile than anyone on TV today.

I’m watching an infomercial. They’re selling a DVD of Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roasts. This is about as entertaining as anything else on at this hour.

It’s not even distinguished from regular programming! The listing on my TV says:

WSAH 95 – Dean Martin. “Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, and More!” : A feel good hour with Dean Martin and friends! News.

News? Seriously? You need to go there to get viewers? Thanks.

I see dead people. There’s hardly anyone on here Stef would recognize, yet most of the participants had a higher profile than anyone on TV today. These were stars in a three network universe!

From the looks of it the comedy is less than memorable. I didn’t realize Angie Dickinson was that hot. She was smoking.

Everyone is laughing as if they are auditioning to be Ed McMahon. I’d like to think we’re more sophisticated today. Maybe not?

6 thoughts on “The Dean Martin Infomercial”

  1. Geoff,
    I admit, I own some of those cd’s….and they made me laugh like nobody’s business.
    Better off getting them from Amazon, or a used book store. I know you were poking fun, but they are pretty funny. (I remember these people, and I am younger than you!) LOL

  2. One thing our current version of pop culture lacks are “legacy stars.” There’s a difference between that and a “superstar” of the moment. Hope, Burns and Benny symbolized comedy. Sinatra WAS music. Henry Fonda represented Hollywood nobility. Maybe we looked at them as the “old reliables,” as opposed to the young upstarts like The Beatles, Supremes, Beach Boys or Rolling Stones. Step by step, the mass media gave way to the niche: Life was replaced by People. Rolling Stone peeled off the “youth audience.” Rock and roll fractured into a dozen radio formats. So fewer and fewer of us agreed on who were celebrities that demanded our attention. We began losing that common ground, the place where our experiences met and overlapped.

    That old three-network TV world did a tremendously effective job of reminding us which celebrities everyone knew. When Bob Hope appeared with Johnny Carson, it was BIG. And it probably meant he had a special coming up within the next few nights on NBC. Heck, when was the last time specials like the ones Hope, Benny, Burns or Danny Thomas did — a variety special — aired?

    Whose appearance with Leno or Letterman ranks with that today?

    Game shows did a wonderful job of reinforcing who the bright minds were. Watch Carol Burnett, Tony Randall or Alan King play PASSWORD. Celebrities weren’t shallow…stars who did theater were acclaimed for the intense effort.

    It’s an odd commentary on our pop culture that 2010’s most talked about celebrities are Lady Gaga and Betty White.

  3. Those comedians are a lot better than most of the comedians that are around now. I sometimes go to You-Tube to see some of the old videos.

  4. I own the set, bought it years ago from this infomercial.
    Fortunately they are copied onto my hard drive because I think the discs would have been completely worn out by now. The most fun one can have while in one of those “lovely” airline seats.

  5. @mike mccann I agree with your comments completely! When the oil spill news got over whelming I started watching a LOT of TCM (Turner Classic Movies) for the comfort those old stars give from this scary modern world!

  6. A question for those who own the DVD set of the roasts: I bought them after viewing the informercial. I distinctly remember a reference to bonus material (and seeing a portion of a “current” interview with Don Rickles), but none of the discs I received contained ANY bonus materials (other than two slides with printed info about the roasts and the Dean Martin Variety Show.) I called the company that produced the DVDs, and they insisted that bonus materials were included—and even sent me a second copy of the Sinatra DVD (in case mine was defective, thus bonus-less), and guess what? No bonuses. After that, I canceled my subscription. Did anyone receive bonus material?

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