Marty’s introduction to American audiences was via a pivotal television “special guest” appearance. The Dean Martin Show had been the highest rated TV show in the US for quite some time. To keep the momentum going, NBC’s summer replacement series, The Golddiggers in London was hosted by Dean and shot on location featuring a variety of local special guests. Marty jumped at the chance to show off his stylings.
Dean Martin and his comedy partner Jerry Lewis where both pioneers in the genre of comedy Marty adored. They tipped their hats to the classic slapstick of Laurel and Hardy and both maintained their own identities after the massive success of their duo appearances. Marty got to choose the sketches he was doing and like most of Marty’s TV guest spots, the sketches were classics from his own previously aired TV shows. This was the first of Marty’s many US appearances on the small screen and, somewhat ironically, one of the last projects Marty worked on was a Jerry Lewis film called Slapstick of Another Kind, released after his death. As Lauretta told me “it could have killed him of he had seen it.”
The reviews of Marty’s appearances on Dean’s shows were nothing short of ecstatic. The New York Times proclaimed, “A star is born.” The Sun in England wrote, “Our Marty slays them in the States, he is a smash.” The LA Times wrote that Marty was “the find of the year.” Variety singled him out and referred to him as a “wacky gas.”
In Marty’s autobiography eYE Marty, he writes about the whole experience. “I didn’t know that Dean was nuts.”
He continued, “Working with him was as strange an experience as I’ve had on a show. We met for the first time in front of the camera when it was clear that this would be a one-take affair; that any further takes would be captured while he was on the golf course. I had heard this was how he did it but it is only when you’re doing it that you realise how crazy it all is.” For the rest of Marty’s short life, people would tell him how great he was on this show and that he was funnier than he was in anything else, including what people would refer to as his “hunchback flick!”
Here now are two clips from Marty on Dean’s smash show. The first one with Dean and the second with Paul Lynde, a regular on the show.
London 1970, a busy time for Marty.
Dean relaxed as ever.
Dean and his Golddiggers.
Marty with Paul Lynde
Marty’s familiar “pest” character with Dean, ‘..enjoying dinner?’
Marty with Dean on the show 1970.
Marty with Sandy Duncan 1970
Marty on set 1970
Marty off set 1970
Dean and his gals.