BOOTLEG FILES 772: “The First Martin and Lewis Reunion” (1958 segment from Eddie Fisher’s television show).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Uncertain if this was ever part of a documentary.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No one bothered to clear the rights.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: We’ll discuss this below.
One of the most dramatic moments on 1970s television occurred during the 1976 broadcast of Jerry Lewis’ Labor Day weekend telethon on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Frank Sinatra was on stage with Lewis making a donation to the fundraiser and then he announced that he had a friend offstage that he wanted to have join him. The friend was Dean Martin and viewers were watching what they thought was the first reunion between the former comedy team partners in 20 years. Continue reading →
On Saturday, June 5, the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors will be held in Washington, D.C. This annual event follows a tradition of honoring five individuals or entities within the performing arts, with commendations given to icons from the worlds of film and television, theater, popular music, classical music and opera, and dance
Traditionally, the Kennedy Center Honors have focused on lifetime achievements – an exception was made in 2018 when the award went to the creators of the Broadway show “Hamilton.” Also, for years it was an unspoken tradition to present four of the awards to white artists and one to a token minority – it wasn’t until 2013 that the majority of honorees were nonwhites. And while the Kennedy Center Honors was initially designed to celebrate American talent, over the years the prize has gone to British and Japanese artists.
Always prone to giving the consumer more bang for their bucks, Mill Creek Entertainment compiles a six DVD set of the best of Martin and Lewis. And while it may not have their all time greats, it still manages to be a solid set that can mesh in with any collection of a Martin and Lewis fanatic. The set comes packed in the usual slip case and compiles a lot of past releases for one fine compendium you can entertain yourself with for hours. In this case, it’s almost thirty hours total of Martin and Lewis shenanigans with five movies and twenty eight episodes of “The Colgate Comedy Hour.”
BOOTLEG FILES 601: “Jack Benny’s First Farewell Special” (1973 television production featuring Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Dean Martin).
LAST SEEN: It can be found on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No one wants to put it out on commercial DVD.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: There is no great push to get this released.
I don’t know who came up with the term “special” to define the one-shot variety productions that pockmarked television broadcasting from the 1950s through the mid-1980s. For the most part, these offerings were anything but special – most were forgettable, some were dreadful, but only a handful possessed the emotional or artistic quality that truly deserved to be called special.
For the Mill Creek compilation “Scared Silly,” the company brings together the roots of horror comedy with a thirteen movie set that’s well worth the cash. Some of it is the same old material you’ll find in other collections, but considering the sub-genre, that’s nothing to sneeze at. On Disc One there’s 1961’s Creature from the Haunted Sea starring the googly eyed sea weed monster, as directed by Roger Corman. It’s a classic you can’t help but giggle through.
Before pseudo-celebrities and tabloid bait became the new trend for the Friar’s roasts, Dean Martin was a bonafide MC who roasted some of his favorite celebrity friends, and iconic actors with much hilarity. From 1973 to 1984, the celebrity roasts were priceless, and Dean Martin never failed to deliver with laughs, antics, and some of the most famous celebrities hob knobbing and riffing on one another. The 6 DVD Set from Time Life features a dozen celebrity roasts, along with some extra footage for fans looking for more laughs for people actually worthy of roasting.