Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed the "King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance.
He and Jerry Lewis were partners in the immensely popular comedy team Martin and Lewis. He was a member of the "Rat Pack" and a star in concert stages, nightclubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television. He was the host of the television variety program 'The Dean Martin Show' (1965–1974) and 'The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast' (1974–1985).
Martin's relaxed, warbling crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles including his signature songs "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare", and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".
I think this picture of Dean Martin with Kookie Kookson III was a publicity photo for '77 Sunset Strip'. I don't think he ever appeared on the detective series. But the IMDb has been wrong before, as we'll see....
Dean Martin hosted several Christmas TV specials on NBC over the years:
Dean Martin's California Christmas - 1975
Dean Martin's Christmas in California - 1977
Christmas at Sea World - 1981
And that's as good a reason as any to choose Dino to be the December inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in this year when we celebrate the League of Themselves. (He also died on Christmas Day but I prefer a more festive reason to celebrate his memory.)
Dean Martin played his fictional televersion in the following TV shows:
'The Jack Benny Program'
- "The Road to Nairobi" (1954)
- "Jack Visits the Vault" (1953)
Per the title, the vault was one of Jack Benny's gags where he kept all his money guarded by numerous traps and an old man who had not been out of the vault in decades.
'Make Room for Daddy'
- Terry Has a Date (1956)
I think this was another example of the IMDb not being ever reliable. I looked through this episode via YouTube and there's no sign of Dean Martin. I think the title of this episode was confused with that of the following entry on this list:
'Make Room for Daddy'
- Terry's Crush (1958)
'The Phil Silvers Show'
- Bilko's Secret Mission (1958)
Dino was listed in the IMDb as "Unnamed Las Vegas Gambler", but since he went uncredited in the episode I think it's not a problem to think of him as playing himself.
'The Lucy Show'
- Lucy Dates Dean Martin (1966)
Lucy is set up on a date with Dean Martin's movie double Eddie Feldman. When Eddie can't make it because he's needed in a scene, Dean substitutes as him on the date. Throughout the evening, Lucy keeps telling him how much more talented he is than that lucky Dean Martin. To make matters worse, Dean/Eddie can't get a drink anywhere. This was one of Lucille Ball's favorite's of this series.
Here's a clip:
"Lucy Gets Lucky" (1975 TV Movie)
- The Usurper (1979)
'The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo'
- Dean Martin and the Moonshiners (1979)
Sheriff Lobo faces a challenge in the upcoming election from Harry Cunningham's sleazy attorney Waverly and so he schemes to get Dean Martin to perform at a "Re-elect Lobo" rally. Meanwhile, and despite Perkins' bungling, Birdie and the deputized Mary Ellen attempt to bust the Beauregards' moonshine-running operation.
"Half Nelson" (1985 TV Movie)
'Half Nelson' (1985)
A tongue-in-cheek detective show with Pesci perfect as the gumshoe. Strong supporting cast of actors who didn't take themselves too seriously and a great episode-ending plot device with Dean Martin as himself, talking to Joe. Dean didn't look so good, but it was sure nice to see him on the show after his "roasts" ended in '82. Whenever Dean was on the screen it was a lot of fun. The other supporters included Bubba Smith and Dick Butkis, I think. The whole security firm plot landed itself to all sorts of Rockford Files type adventures and it's sad that it didn't last. (Opinion from the IMDb)
And of course we can't forget this entry in his resume:
'The Dean Martin Show'
There were 261 episodes from 1965 - 1974, including the Dean Martin Roasts (but there were specials as well).
In this spoof of Jaws (1975), nearly fifty comedians are mysteriously attacked and swallowed up, apparently by a great white shark.
And that doesn't include his appearances in variety programs and talk shows.
So here's to the evergreen memory of Dean Martin. Welcome to the TVXOHOF.
Ain't that a kick in the head?