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`The Best of the Dean Martin Show.` (NBCU photo)
"The Best of the Dean Martin Show." (NBCU photo)

'The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show' to be released

by jmaloni
Sat, Mar 26th 2011 07:05 am

NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products and TIME-LIFE have announced the release of three new DVD collections featuring "The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show," to be released May 24. "The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show" sets capture material never before released from some of the show's greatest episodes during its nine-year run on television from 1965-74. Hosted by Dean Martin, the acclaimed variety and comedy show was one of the highest-rated in television history, garnering 12 Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe award for Martin ("Best Actor in a Comedy Television Series," 1967). The show was frequented by hundreds of guests from across the world of entertainment including legendary actors and actresses from the stage and screen, pop and jazz singers, dancers and comedians.

For the first time ever, "The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show" will be available as a single DVD, double-DVD set, and six-DVD Collector's Edition, officially from NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products and TIME-LIFE. Each DVD, more than two hours long, features several episodes, including guest segments, comedy sketches and more than a dozen full-length musical performances, with additional bonus material starring regular show performers and extensive liner notes. "The Best of the Dean Martin Show" single DVD includes four show episodes with more than 15 musical performances; the double-DVD set includes seven show episodes featuring more than 30 musical performances; and the six-DVD Collectors Edition includes more than 50 guests and 80 musical performances.

Hosted by legendary entertainer Martin, the unique variety and comedy show was a television pioneer. There were no rehearsals, no re-takes, and Martin simply just wasn't a host behind a desk and a microphone - he took part in virtually all the segments. Whether talking and singing with guests or performing a comedy sketch, Martin put every guest at ease and was able to coax even the most serious actors (such as Orson Welles and Jimmy Stewart) to indulge in their comedic and musical sides. Guests had a great time, word got out, and after the initial success of the show everyone wanted in on the act.

Show regulars such as Rodney Dangerfield, Dom Deluise and Nipsey Russell are featured in recurring comedy sketches on show episodes, while guests chosen by Martin included legendary actors and actresses from across the stage and screen, pop and jazz singers, dancers and comedians. Highlights from the one-disc and two-DVD set include guests "Get Smart" actor Don Adams; Grammy Award-winning singer Tony Bennett; actor, comedian and writer George Burns; actress Florence Henderson in a comedic guest performance prior to the debut of "The Brady Bunch"; Bob Hope in his only appearance on the show; Sid and Marty Krofft's famed "Krofft Puppets"; actor Michael Landon performing several over-the-top song and dance numbers at the height of "Bonanza's" popularity; comedian and near-show regular Bob Newhart; famed dancer and actress Juliet Prowse; comedian Don Rickles; legendary singer and actress Dinah Shore; distinguished actors Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne; renowned director/actor/writer/producer Orson Welles; comedian and actor Jonathan Winters; and more.

A famed star of the silver screen, television icon, Grammy Award-winning singing sensation and member of the renowned "Rat Pack," Martin's show business legacy is legendary. His musical career features such classics as "Ain't That A Kick In The Head," "That's Amore," "Mambo Italiano," "Everybody Loves Somebody," "Sway," "Volare," and more. He released dozens of album recordings over his lifetime, and starred in dozens of well-known movies, including "Ocean's Eleven," "Rio Bravo," "The Caddy," and "Who Was That Lady?" (for which Martin received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor).

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