Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Now on DVD: Dean Martin Roasts — the Bawdy Show Business Insult Hit of the 70’s

posted by Nell Minow

It started at the very exclusive, men-only (until 1988), Friars Club for comedians, singers, and other performers and show business professionals.  They were known for raucous and bawdy humor and in the late 1940’s they held their first “roast,” a dinner that “celebrated” a star with hilarious insults.   It was entertainer and television host Dean Martin who first put a roast on his show in 1973 so that the public could see it.  It was so popular that it became a regular series for about ten years and now continue on Comedy Central from time to time, most recently “honoring” James Franco.  The comedians try to outdo each other, challenging the group to see who is the funniest and who is the most shocking.  Generally, everyone strives to be both.

A new 6-DVD set from StarVista has issued the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast-Collectors Edition, featuring roasts honoring Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas, Michael Landon, Jackie Gleason, Don Rickles, Joan Collins, and the man himself, Dean Martin.  Roasting them are a full collection of 70’s luminaries, including Muhammad Ali, George Burns, Florence Henderson, Bette Davis, Phyllis Diller, and Milton Berle.  A warning on the package cautions that the racial and ethnic humor of the era may seem inappropriate by today’s standards (on the other hand, if those folks ever heard the jokes at today’s events, they would be very surprised by the explicitly raunchy humor).  “Keep in mind the tenor of the times, the bawdy party atmosphere, and the fact that many of these celebrities were friends who loved to give and take a good shot.  The cigarettes are real, the drinks are free, and the camaraderie is heartfelt.”

The DVD set also includes lots of extras, with bonus comedy sketches, two more Dean Martin specials, featurettes, interviews, and home movies.

 



Previous Posts

List: My Favorite Movie Ghosts
Happy Halloween! Here are ten of my favorite movie ghosts.  (NOTE: Some of these have inferior remakes -- stick with the originals.) Topper Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are the most s

posted 8:00:42am Oct. 30, 2014 | read full post »

List: Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile leading me in Hollywood. This week, he stars with Keira Knightley in "Laggies," playing a single dad. Here are some of my favorite Sam Rockwell performances: Moon Rockwell takes on the biggest possible acting challenge -- he in alone on screen for the ent

posted 3:50:02pm Oct. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Lauren Bradshaw's Terrific New "Before They Were Famous" Column
My friend and fellow critic Lauren Bradshaw has a great new series on the very earliest appearances by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. You can see Emma Stone, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain in their very first roles, and give her suggestions for who she should report on next.

posted 8:00:27am Oct. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Big News From Marvel: Black Panther, Dr. Strange, and Much, Much, MUCH More
Wow, Marvel really knows how to make an announcement. Get out your calendars: May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War Nov. 4, 2016: Doctor Strange May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 July 28, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok Nov. 3, 2017: Black Panther May 4, 2018: Avengers: Infinity War – Part I Ju

posted 6:46:42pm Oct. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Nell Scovell Pays Tribute to the Under-Used Women Alumnae of SNL
The wonderful Nell Scovell, who helped Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg write Lean In and is now working on a screenplay based on the book, has an excellent essay in Time about the talented women who appeared on "Saturday Night Live" but never transitioned to the kind of high-profile careers that some of

posted 3:37:33pm Oct. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.