Nothing is more Dean Martin than Dean Martin.
Of course, doing a really preposterously good job of being Dean Martin depends a lot on knowing the rules about what makes the best Dean Martin. Knowing the archetypal definition of Martinism: How is he different? Why is he individual? What is he driving at?
What Dean Martin is driving at seems to be to lead a Life Of Sloth. A Life of EPIC Sloth. Not just your common little ol' Sunday afternoon lazy Sloth, like you get with minor Erskine Caldwell Georgia darlins.
No, Martin now epitomizes EPIC SLOTH. Sloth like Joseph E. Levine would come up with. In big, 3-D letters, like in those Ben Hur movie ads, with all forms of EPIC EXHAUSTION draped over the letters. "Epic Sloth," starring Dean Martin, and then running around the bottom, instead of Mongol hordes and Jack Palance you find other things, for this is "Epic Sloth." Things like deflated innertubes. Like the ears of sleeping Spaniels. Like Kleenex ashes. Like all of Life's Most Unresilient Stuff.
And there, leaned up in Herculean-Scope against those giant letters, our Pop Star slumps. Dean Martin. Kind of half-eyed looking out at you, grinning "Hi ya, pally," like he hopes you haven't got anything heavy on your mind. "Dean Martin has been working at becoming an Epic Pop Art Object. He's been getting in a good deal of pop art hypnotizing. Avis knows, you don't get to be Number One by just sitting round. Some detractors have published this about Martin: that he sits round, trying to make spaghetti look tense.
Much of his triumph has been ascribed by some scribes to his ability to project an alcoholic aura from coast-to-coast, into millions of Puritan homes. Good, Puritan, beer-drinking homes. Martin has almost by himself established Booze-o-Vision as America's new Art Populaire. It's difficult to imagine any other object that would currently be more welcome in our historic nation's thousands of beer bars and juke joints. Nothing more popular than DM, slumped there, looking for his cue card, all brung to you in NBC's surrealist color. Martin and his--dare we say it?-- goopy baritone. Martin: the biggest sex symbol to hit neighborhood taverns since the heyday of The Rheingold Girl, may she in our secret imaginations requiescat in flagrante delicto. Nothing should slow up his reign as our beloved epic boozer short of a sudden attack of dysphagia.
-By Stan Cornyn, King of Liner Notes