Dino’s hilarious effort to keep up with this multi-talented international superstar is a pure delight
In another great moment from The Dean Martin Show, which ran from 1964 to 1975, Dean only has to sing one note in this duet with Caterina. He could pull it off if he weren’t laughing so much.
Dean’s show was a major hit right along with The Danny Kaye Show, The Carol Burnett Show and others. Who can forget watching Martin’s sketches with superstars like Sammy Davis, Jr., Jimmy Stewart, Kay Medford, Jonathan Winters, John Wayne, and a host of other celebrities.
The series was always heavy on slapstick humor. To jog your memory, Martin began each episode by sliding down a fireman’s pole. But it wasn’t all jokes. Martin was also an accomplished singer with a thriving nightclub act in addition to his movie career.
The fact that he was a great singing talent makes it all the more touching that he let guest singers like Caterina Valente have the spotlight while he pretended he couldn’t keep up with them just to get a laugh.
European singing star Caterina Valente was born in France but of Italian ancestry just like Dino (given name Dino Crocetti), and she sings in multiple languages. She is also a guitar virtuoso and well-known actress. Although more famous outside the US, she made a splash here singing with the likes of Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, and of course Dean Martin.
Given how much fun Dean is having in this clip, it’s incredible to when you think that at first he was against doing a weekly TV show. He was afraid it would interfere with his other showbiz work. When the studio first approached him with the idea, he tried to sabotage the deal by asking for an extremely high salary and demanding that he not be obligated to rehearse.
When the studio agreed to his outrageous terms, he felt he had no choice but to sign the contract. “They went for it, so now I have to do it,” he later told his daughter Deanna Martin.
“I’m grateful that she was so fluent in English that there was no hesitation or discomfort on her part, dealing with Dean being unpredictable. The results are hilarious,” commented one adoring fan of Caterina’s performance.
“Great moment of musical and personal understanding,” said another commenter. “The way they look at each other with a telling twinkle in their eyes says it all. It is clear to me why she is sometimes called ‘Caterina Talente’ in Europe.”
Watch the King of Cool croon alongside Caterina in the video below. Trust us, you’ll want to share it with your friends. Savor it!