Has clearly forgotten this song is next on the schedule; jogs hurriedly downstairs.
Lina Lamont-style “fruitful gestures”
That cigarette can’t be real. It would have gone out during one of those sweeping arm movements! Right? And Dean was never as drunk and like, laissez-faire about showbiz as his act made him seem; he’s a boozehound but he’s still a professional, you don’t have a career as long as his without knowing your mark and being able to finish a shoot on time. I see you, Dean. I’ll bet you were only ever a third as drunk as you seemed on set.
What a beautiful shit-eating grin.
THAT CIGARETTE WOULD HAVE AT THE LEAST PRODUCED SOME ASH BY NOW IF IT WERE REAL. THIS IS A PROP CIGARETTE DESIGNED TO FOOL US. LIKE SAINT SIMEON THE HOLY FOOL, WHO FEIGNED MADNESS LEST HIS TRUE SAINTLY NATURE BE DISCOVERED AND HE COME IN FOR APPROBATION AND PRAISE, DEAN MARTIN FEIGNED A GREATER ATTACHMENT TO VICE THAN HE TRULY FELT, THAT WE MIGHT NOT BE OVERAWED BY HIS SMOOTH LOUNGERY.
you SMOOTH MOTHERFUCKER, you keep rotating in half-circles like clockwork
does a little mnemonic device paired to some specific hand gestures to help him remember the line “now that binds me”
This entire sequence is clearly the inspiration for Krusty bursting into the recording studio while Lisa is developing Malibu Stacy and taking over the mic: “All right, you poindexters! Let’s get this right. One: Hey-hey, kids, I’m Talkin’ Krusty! Two: Hey-hey, here comes Sideshow Mel! Again: Here comes SIDE-show Mel. Three: Hoo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Bada bing, bada boom, I’m done. Learn from a professional, kid.”
The choreography notes for this scene are as follows: Smile as smarmily as possible, twirl with as little follow-through as possible, shuffle up and back, get off in a tight 3:30
Literally points behind him when singing “behind me”
Almost comes in a beat too early, then stops himself and grins
Really sells “eating hobo soup out of a trainyard” while wearing a full tuxedo
Eyes go dead as he realizes he’s forgotten the next line
Sits down out of the sheer exhaustion of going without a cigarette for nearly two full minutes
Very nearly forgets the line again, but old Dean proves too quick for even his own forgetful mind; allows himself a little smile at his own triumph
“Ever gentle…[briefly panicked, then triumphant] SMILIN’ on my mind.” You gotta be quicker than that to make old Dean Martin slip up.
Some laid-back scatting in celebration of making it through an entire song, followed by an unbelievably casual flourish. “That’s how you do it, boys.”
Immediately takes a drag on the clearly-fake cigarette, which has not diminished a centimeter in length, and produces no smoke on his next exhalation.
Patter, and rest.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.