The one thing that everyone cannot help but notice is the fact that the entire time he is hosting the program, our beloved Dean (hereafter referred to as Dino) appears soused out of his gourd. Whether or not this is the case nobody really knows for sure but even his daughter claims it was apple juice in his glass every time#. Personally I like to think he might have had at least one real cocktail real quick before taping, but never really knowing one way or the other and just enjoying his antics are enough for me. Besides, some mysteries are better left unsolved.
One of the main things that contributes to the air of improv in each episode was that Dino never showed up for any rehearsals and only came on for the tapings. Those flubs I mentioned earlier were likely just that- flubs! Maybe they were not the result of rampant alcoholism but instead an possibly unintentional swath of comic genius. Any time he messes up during one of his own songs he couldn’t help but double up with laughter, and neither can I for that matter. Face it- watching a guy like Dino who generally has a pretty slick appearance at all times lose it is a really guilty pleasure.
Late night talk shows of today must really salivate over the guests the show was literally packed with. It was a real who’s who of 60’s and 70’s talent- everyone from Jonathan Winters to fellow Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. made an appearance and managed to entertain the socks off of just about everybody. Even Sid and Marty Krofft had an all too short lived puppet show sketch (which legend has it Dino had the Krofft’s canned from the show because the puppets upstaged his act) during the shows 1965-66 season#.
How somebody could watch this show and NOT be rolling on the floor by the time the end credits came up from and of the 264 episodes it ran for I would really like to know. Grab a cocktail and some popcorn- you are going to need them both.
Johnathon lives in Portland, Oregon. He makes collages. He also writes things for Network Awesome, as well as his weekly movie review blog which can be found at http://fshomevideo.blogspot.com. You should read it, it's really terrific.