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Frank Sinatra Confirmed Dean Martin’s Wild Drinking Habits

With his dashing good looks, mellisonant voice, hilarious sense of humor, and ever-present cocktail in hand, Dean Martin was basically this walking, talking, crowd-pleasing advertisement for getting wasted. Wherever he went, regardless of what time of day, it was always happy hour, and all of his fans were invited to enjoy a scotch on the rocks and join in on the party. During the peak of his career in the 1950s and 1960s, it seemed as if everyone was getting in on the fun and getting soused with Dean.

Some folks, including Dean’s own son and daughter, said that the entertainer was actually sipping on apple juice whenever he went onstage. Meanwhile, others begged to differ. One such individual who insisted that Dean Martin’s penchant for guzzling down ungodly amounts of booze was genuine was none other than his old drinking buddy and fellow Rat Pack crooner Frank Sinatra.

Ol’ Blue Eyes once was quoted as saying that if there ever came to be an Olympic drinking team, then Dean Martin would be the ideal candidate for that team’s coach. Really, at the end of the day, It didn’t even matter how much Dean Martin actually drank, because he still always gave off the impression that he was hammered.

If you’re a fan of the rat pack and Dean Martin this one video that should be right up your alley. Keep watching to see how Frank Sinatra confirmed Dean Martin’s wild drinking habits!

Dean Martin’s Legacy

Dean got his start in the entertainment industry as the straight man for Jerry Lewis. The two were among the most popular comedy acts in the nation during the early to mid-1950s. After the duo parted ways, Martin became a full-time singer and developed his signature drunk persona to go along with it. He didn’t seem all that interested in actually belting out tunes during his loose, slapdash Vegas shows and TV appearances; rather, he preferred to promote the virtues of drinking culture and getting smashed.

Dean became famous for his witty one-liners downplaying the negative effects of heavy drinking. At one point, he said that he didn’t drink anymore before going on to jest that he preferred to instead freeze it and eat it like a popsicle.

Another famous Dean Martin quote making light of alcoholism went something along the lines of ‘you’re not really drunk if you can still lay on the floor without needing to hold on’.

Martin, and his raucous stage act, was one of the top draws in Vegas for decades, and when he was given his own tv show, The Dean Martin Show, in 1965, the program went on to enjoy high ratings for the majority of it’s nine seasons.

The ‘chairman of the board’, Frank Sinatra, may have went down in history as being the greater artist, but Dean is still seen as being one of the most influential figures of his day. That being said, some of his records haven’t stood up to the test of time nearly as well as Sinatra’s.

Still, countless artists that came after him cited him as a significant influence, especially in terms of his vocal delivery. As for his drinking, nobody that has come before or after Dean has ever made it look so good.

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Dean’s Daughter Claimed His “Dino” Personality Was Just A Gimmick

Speaking to the LA Times some years back, Dean Martin’s daughter Deanna Martin told the outlet that when her father’s career first started taking off, he wanted to recreate his nightclub act at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas with the help of some writers.

Just as Jack Benny had his violin shtick and made a whole thing about being cheap, the writers thought that they could simply put a drink and cigarette in Dean’s hand and play up his handsome, debonair persona.

That approach ended up being wildly successful as, for a time, every man wanted to be like him and every woman wanted to be with him. According to Dean’s daughter, as well as his son, the truth was that Dean wasn’t actually rocking back cocktail after cocktail while up on stage. Instead, he would go out with a rather conspicuous glass of apple juice on the rocks.

Deanna says that when her dad would come home at the end of the day, he and her mother would enjoy one cocktail together. Instead of always being drunk and wild, Deanna says that her father was very loving and kind and an altogether different man that what everybody thought.

Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin’s Relationship Was “On the Rocks”

in 2006, Jerry Lewis made a rare late-career appearance at Boston University’s School of Management to promote his newly-released memoir at the time, Dean and Me: A Love Story. Lewis ended up passing away 11 years later in 2017, but at the time, the seasoned comedian and entertainer told the audience that he felt terrific.

Over the years, Lewis had battled a number of different health problems and had gained a significant amount of weight at one point due to a medication that he was taking for a lung condition. By the time that he took the stage at BU to take questions from the audience, he had lost 77 pounds and was looking quite spry for an 80-year-old.

While entertaining questions from the attendees, Lewis kept everyone in the crowd laughing. Even so, he made sure to answer some of their questions as earnestly and honestly as he could. He spoke candidly about his long-time friendship with Dean Martin. He even went as far as to call Martin his ‘man-crush’, while referring to him as the most handsome man that he ever knew.

The two met on the corner of Broadway and 54th street in New York City in 1946. At the time, Martin was wearing a camel-hair coat with his hair slicked back. As soon as Lewis saw him, he knew that he wanted to be Martin’s friend.

Dean and Lewis began their long-standing working relationship while performing together at Atlantic City’s 500 Club. At their first show together, Lewis said that their act wasn’t merely met with laughs – it created a pandemonium.

The two went on to collab in what some have called the greatest vaudeville act of all time while also making 16 films together. But 10 years to the day after they first met, Dean and Jerry ended their professional and personal relationship on July 25, 1956, after doing one last gig at Manhattan’s Copacabana club. Martin saw himself being pushed into the background while Lewis stole the show. Tired of taking the back-seat, Martin went off on his own, and the two didn’t speak again for another two decades.

Dean and Jerry reunited onstage twenty years after splitting up at Lewis’ annual Labor Day muscular dystrophy telethon event. Jerry apparently panicked when he had to share the stage with his old estranged partner. All he could muster up was a somewhat awkward question about whether or not Dean was working. The audience thought it was a hoot, but after that event, Lewis and Martin continued to avoid each other.

After Martin’s son, Dino, died, however, the two connected once again. Lewis recalled that Dean called him up to tell him that throughout his life, there had been but two men that he loved. One was his son, and the other was him.

Despite Dean’s reputation for being a heavy drinker, Jerry Lewis insisted just as Deanna did that Martin only ever drank apple juice while performing. According to him, it wasn’t until after Dean’s son’s death that he really ‘let himself go’. Lewis claimed that that after that tragic event, Martin became reclusive and fell on the bottle hard to ease his troubles.

Dean Martin ended up passing away on Christmas Day in 1995. Following his old friend’s death, Lewis attempted to set the record straight about a few things. While the press often slighted Martin, Lewis made it known that without him, he would have been nothing more than a ‘record act’.

When he was asked by the BU audience what he thought Dean Martin would have thought about his memoir, Jerry opined that he would have loved it. Wrapping up his Q&A, Lewis said that he gave Dean every bit of credit that he deserved.

Some Claim Dean Martin’s Glass Was A Prop

While Jerry Lewis and Deanna Martin claimed that that glass of ‘scotch’ in Dean Martin’s hand was actually apple juice, quite a few people that were close to him begged to differ with that assessment. For one thing, it seemed as if Dean Martin played the drunk role a little bit too well for it to be just a charade.

When he would go out on stage, he would do so with a glassy stare while slurring his speech. He would often miss his cues and would even occasionally forget the lyrics of his own songs.

While it’s fairly clear that Dean Martin was a fan of the bottle – J&B scotch in particular – it’s true that throughout his performances, you’d rarely see him consume more than one glass of liquid courage. Most of the time, he would nurse the same glass of scotch and soda throughout the entire set.

A few claim that the glass merely served as a prop. It also proved to be a good excuse whenever he did flub a line. Martin’s son Ricci insisted that his father wasn’t that big a drinker off stage either. In fact, he once said that he never saw him drunk in his life.

According to Ricci, whenever Dean would drink at home, he would be just as calm, collected, loving, and funny as when didn’t.

With that, we’ll wrap up this video, but we’d love to hear from you.

Do you think that Dean Martin’s drunken onstage persona was the real deal or do you think that he played up his love for the bottle merely for laughs? Let us know in the comments.

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