Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Dean Martin Roasts: Remembrance of Zings Past

Forget Lenny Bruce and George Carlin: These old guys with their Brylcreem and tuxedos were trendsetters, too.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

November 7, 2013 - 2:00 pm
YouTube Preview Image

Or take this recent article announcing the long-awaited release by Time/Life of the complete Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts in a single package:

Each roast was held before a large live audience in Las Vegas and no “honoree” emerged unscathed.

The packaging warns that in today’s politically correct society, much of the racially-charged humor might seem shocking but keep in mind, this was the norm in the day with comedians, both black and white, taking good-natured pot-shots at each other.

Additionally, people who were arch political rivals would engage in very funny by-play. Try imaging that in today’s crazy, polarized political environment.

I don’t have to imagine. That bipartisan “by-play” is on display at every White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Meanwhile, every Comedy Central Roast features “racially charged humor,” not to mention jaw-dropping sexual jokes and tasteless gags about everything from the Holocaust to 9/11.

However, I do agree with Reason’s Greg Beato that while those tuxedo-wearing, Brylcreemed denizens of Dean’s dias weren’t allowed to work as “blue” on the air, they were more revolutionary when it mattered.

That is, in their own time.

That the younger comics of the 1970s like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin are now hailed as courageous revolutionaries is mostly a matter of style over substance.

(Carlin’s career didn’t take off until he chucked the sports jacket and grew out his hair.)

YouTube Preview Image

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Lenny Bruce was long dead before the 70s.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I love the Roasts. When I first got to Youtube it was the first thing I looked for. I would like to add Red Buttons as a great roaster, who always asked, "Why are we giving this (person) a dinner?"

Don Rickles was the best. He roasted everybody on the dais, every time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I liked 1970s television. Sandwiched between the excesses of the 60s and the cable revolution of the 80s, they were interesting times for TV. The demographic of the executives (people born between 1915 to about 1935) that ran the television business struck the perfect balance between permissiveness and wholesomeness. In other words, what they couldn't say on radio and early television, they let their characters and performers express in the 1970s, but without being downright filthy or demented. The Bunkers could express reality, Sanford and Son could be honest, and game show panels and Carol Burnett and her troupe could get racy and suggestive but never filthy. The crime shows were not exactly gritty, but they were populated with interesting characters, following tight scripts and are still exciting to watch. Crime shows today revolve around spectacular criminal activities; maybe an episode about a run-of-the-mill check forger or a petty shoplifter is actually more realistic
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One of the biggest bruises on the national funny bone is multiculturalism. With so many non-English speakers and first generation English speakers everywhere, as well as tens of millions of immature ignorant Americans, the only common denominator is the lowest common denominator -- going to the toilet and death are the only things we have in common anymore. Why waste precious screen and television time setting up a joke or attempting a play on words when nobody will get it and ratings and box office will plummet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These guys were truly funny. It's a shame the PC people had to ruin what was real diversity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dean Martin (and contemporaries) had a certain "je ne sais quoi"...charm, subtlety, wry wit, quick comeback and sophistication that escapes most of today's wannabes.

I loved Ruth Buzzy on the old Laugh In and Lily Tomlin as Ernestine the telephone operator was funny as hell (Is this the party to whom I am speaking ? Ohhhhh, Gorey Veetle...) I could never think of Gore Vidal by any other name after that.

I always want to call Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ruth Buzzy Ginsburg, but only for the physical resemblance, obviously not the humoUr.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Refresh my memory: "two fried -eggs T shirts" what was that about?
The 70s I recall involved good TV,bad hair, worse clothes (with the exception of mini-skirts) but no fried-egg Tees.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You wore it if you were flat chested :-)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While I was off work last year I watched the entire series of "Thriller" from Netflix. When I was younger, it was scary. Now almost 60, I found it to be very well written for the most part. Another thing about those old shows, including opening titles and closing credits, the shows were 50 minutes long. Like so many shows of its time, Thriller and others had to rely on a PLOT. Now it seems that for a lot of programs it's just an excuse to get 2 people in bed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, All in the Family could be on cable. But at the time..........
Nowadays every new show claims to be breaking new ground. But I remember when "All in the Family" premiered, and I thought OH MY! There was nothing like it before on broadcast TV. It wasn't the highest rated show for years because of nothing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Liked when Dino had Gov. Reagan on.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All