The Dean Martin Christmas Show A Standout Classic Holiday Special

Courtesy:  Time Life/NBC Universal

Courtesy: Time Life/NBC Universal

Time Life and NBC Universal have unearthed a nice piece of holiday television history with the release of The Dean Martin Christmas Show.  This holiday special is a relic of a bygone era.  It’s another prime example of everything that was once right with television.  Much like with the recently released Carol Burnett Show sets, this unearthing shows that there is still love and interest for classic television.  As great as all of the annual holiday specials are, this once forgotten special reminds audiences that there is still much more out there that is just as enjoyable as the aforementioned specials.

The Dean Martin Christmas Show runs at less than an hour long.  The majority of the material in this special is musical numbers.  Although there are some skits tossed in for good measure, too.  OF the few skits included in this show, the best of them is the cop skit with acting legend Dom DeLuise.  DeLuise plays a street cop who tries to give Santa a ticket for parking his sled in a no parking zone.  While audiences never see Santa, the ability of DeLuise to interpret what would have been Santa standing there before him shows his talent.  And his reaction after Santa gives him a present, despite the attempt to give him a ticket, brings the whole skit together.  It makes for lots of laughs even years after its original airing.

Dom DeLuise isn’t the only star who gets his chance for laughs in this special.  Fellow veteran actor Bob Newhart also gets his time to shine.  Newhart stars alongside Martin as a customer trying to return a toupee.  Martin plays the part of a clerk in the complaint department in the store where Newhart’s character is returning the toupee.  The chemistry between the pair is obvious as Martin can’t even hold back his laughs throughout the course of the skit.  Yet by contrast, Newhart somehow manages to maintain his character’s deadpan persona, which is probably why Martin was unable to contain his laughs.  It’s just one more moment that viewers yearning for that nostalgia will enjoy and appreciate with every watch.

The skits included in this roughly forty-eight minute holiday special make for their own share of enjoyment.  The musical numbers add even more nostalgia and enjoyment, too.  Martin and company share their own renditions of a number of Christmas carols.  Home viewers won’t be able to resist signing along a little bit, too.  When it’s all said and done, audiences of all ages will realize that what they’ve experienced is something very special.  Add in the original quality of the broadcast and that feeling gets even stronger.  Audiences can experience that feeling for themselves now as The Dean Martin Christmas Show is available now on DVD courtesy of Time Life and NBC Universal.  It can be ordered online direct via Time Life’s store at http://timelife.com/products/the-dean-martin-christmas-show.

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New History Channel DVD Release Is Another Great Set In And Out Of The Classroom

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Entertainment

Did you know that Hollywood has hugely mishandled the famed gunfight at the OK Corral?  What about Benjamin Franklin?  Did you know that he actually created America’s first gossip rag, and even fathered an illegitimate son?  And allegedly, Rat Pack front man Frank Sinatra really wasn’t the brains behind the band?  Thanks to its new show, 10 Things You Didn’t Know, History Channel reveals these facts and more.  And fans can learn about these little tidbits of information and more next week when History Channel releases the first season of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About on DVD.

In 10 Things You Didn’t Know About host David Eisenbach reveals to audiences some of the secrets of history’s most famous and infamous figures and events.  One of the most intriguing facts that Eisenbach reveals to audiences is that the battle of the OK Corral actually didn’t happen in the OK Corral.  Rather, it happened in a vacant lot behind the corral.  And unlike what’s been presented in movies, it only lasted a grand total of thirty seconds.  In those thirty seconds, only thirty shots were fired, one for each second.  And while most audiences know Wyatt Earp as an iconic hero figure, he was originally a business man who had only been in one fight before the fight at the OK Corral.  He actually helped run a brothel before everything leading up to the now legendary gunfight.  The story of what led up to the gunfight is even more interesting.  It gets somewhat discombobulated, as a number of factors ended up leading to the fight.  But in adding it all up, many audiences may find it surprising what led to the gunfight.

The gunfight at the OK Corral and its combatants weren’t the only famed events and figures that Eisenbach discusses in this season of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About.  He also reveals through discussions with academics and experts that the iconic picture of Benjamin Franklin holding a kite with a key was not entirely true.  As a matter of fact, Eisenbach reveals through his interviews that it was in fact Franklin’s illegitimate son William who actually had the kite.  Franklin himself actually ran for cover during the storm.  Speaking of his illegitimate son, the show notes that Franklin admitted in his autobiography that he had fathered William with a prostitute.  Of course, prostitution wasn’t illegal back then.  While there are some seedy details revealed about his life in this show, it does also reveal that Franklin did a lot for the country, his inventions aside.  For instance, he helped to found the country’s very first public hospital.  And thanks to his ways with the ladies, Franklin managed to convince the wife of French ruler Louis XVI to side with America in its war with Britain.  And if not for that partnership, America might have otherwise lost the war. 

Lawmen and founding fathers aren’t the only figures covered by Eisenbach in History Channel’s hit show.  For those who are more into pop culture, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About also travels into that realm.  In this brand new collection, Eisenberg reveals to viewers that the famed Rat Pack actually was not called the Rat pack, but the Summit.  It was actually actress Lauren Bacall who came up with the Rat Pack name, which Frank Sinatra never liked.  The Summit named, it’s revealed, had political links.  And speaking of politics, it’s also revealed that the Rat Pack—Sinatra especially—was very closely tied to the civil rights movement, even helping Dr. Martin Luther King’s now famous organization, the SCLC.  This is just a small sampling of what is revealed about The Rat Pack in this season of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About.  Fans can learn even more about the group, and even more figures when they get the two-disc set for themselves next Tuesday, August 28th.  It can be ordered direct from History Channel on its website at http://shop.history.com.

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