So far Mr. Republibot 3.0 has created stellar Dinoreviews for "The Silencers," "Murders' Row," and "The Ambushers." This Friday, R 3.0 will conclude his amazin' Dinoinsights with postin' his Dinoprose on "The Wrecking Crew."
Gotta tell you pallies, interviewin' Mr. Republibot 3.0 was such a cool challenge 'cause he is one whitty and insightful Dinodude. This Dinoholic likes kept me on my toes all the way through this Dinodiscourse. So sits backs pallies and likes enjoy gettin' to know Dinodiggin' Mr. Republibot 3.0.
BTW pallies, likes if you clicks on the tagg of this Dinogram you will likes be transported to R 3.0's very cool Sci Fi blogg tagged what else..."Republibot."
All the pixs of our Dino were selected by Mr. Republibot 3.0 for this Dinoquiry.
DMP: Hey pallie, let's begin with a couple of introductory questions....
So pallie, likes would you tell us a bit 'bout yourself....?
R 3.0: Sure. Well, I was born in Mayfield, Nebraska, to Edna and Anthony PointOh. In a fit of somewhat misguided Nixonian patriotism, they named me "Republibot," which has been a subject of much teasing and occasional beatings on the playground, as you can probably imagine. My middle name is "Three," but they've never bothered to explain that one to me, and eventually I stopped asking. Anyway, a few months later we moved to St. Grissom, and I've been here ever since, with a little bit of time off here and there for good behavior. College and stuff, you know.
DMP: Always cool to know how someone was first introduced to our Dino.....would you kindly tell us you first memories of our great man?
R 3.0: Dino has always been in my life in some form or another. My folks loved his variety show and always watched the Roasts he was on. I'm pretty sure neither of them bought a new album after about 1965 or so, but we had several Dean Martin LPs that were in fairly constant rotation around the house. I think my earliest specific recolection I have of him was probably "Money From Home." I remember watching that when I was really little and sick, and thinking it was the funniest movie ever made. Definitely it was my favorite film for a while. I loved all the Martin and Lewis movies, though probably my favorite comedy team of the period was Hope and Crosby. I
always though it was a crime that no one thought to stick the two duos together, you know? Can you imagine how great that would have been? A road movie where Der Binger and Bob bump in to Dino and Jerry? Alas, the idea never seems to have come up.
Eventually I stumbled across the Matt Helm movies. I'm not sure how old I was, but I must have been pretty young becuase I didn't realize they were supposed to be funny. I didn't pay any more attention to 'em than I did any other spy flicks, until I was 11 or 12, and then suddenly - zowie - just look at all those fascinating, barely-dressed women! And of course they were on TV, completely uncensored, obviously because whoever screened the movies for our local UHF station didn't bother to check 'em out before they put 'em on the air. "It's a Dean Martin movie from the sixties - how bad could it be?" So you had this weird situation where I'd come home from church at noon, Sunday, and watch these Matt Helm movies on TV three or four times a year, however often they came up in the rotation. For me, in those pre-cable days, it was like accidentally walking in to a nudie bar or something. Not that there was any actual nudity, mind you, but it was all pretty lurid compared to the Green Acres repeats they were showing the rest of the week, you know? Ah, happy memories of Tina Louise in a body stocking...
DMP: So man, is there anythin' else you can tells us 'bout yourself that may be of interest to our readers?
R 3.0:I'm a mutant. I was born without Tonsils. Everything else you'd expect to find came factory standard, however, and I'm all man, baby! And I don't know if it has anything to do with the tonsils or not, but I'm a pretty good singer, in addition to my more bloggerly duties.
DMP: Gotta say that I am always delighted to hear of pallies who were nurtured on our Dino while they were babes in arms. So your mommy and daddy-o obviously dug our Dino...listenin' to his music, watch the Dinoshow and then the Dinoroasts. Was conversation 'bout our Dino common in your household? Were you able to stay up to watch the Dinoshow and the Dinoroasts? Were their other ways your old man and lady helped lead you to Dino?
R 3.0: Nah, none of that, though it would have been cool. They played the records, but I don't think they really listened to 'em anymore, you know? And I think their interest in his shows - which I was too young to watch, really - were more for the entertainment value than the music. Dean was effortlessly charming, funny, suave. You just couldn't avoid liking the guy. Did you ever hear the story about what he did when "Everybody loves somebody sometime" went to number one in 1965?
Thing is, at root and by temperment I'm basically a crooner. I've never really gotten to do much of that in any of the bands I've been in, which is fine because I can do the other stuff too, and it's fun and all, but what I dream about doing is tearing in to a big version of "Everybody Loves Sombody" or "Beyond the Sea" or "Saint James Infirmary," you know? I love that stuff, and I can pretty strongly trace that to Mr. Martin much more so than anyone else from his era, or the later ones. Thing is, I know Sinatra was a better singer, and Elvis was too on occasion, but I'd very seldom sit through their songs as a kid because they bored me. They sang, and that was that, and it just wasn't cued to the attention span of a six-year-old, you know? But I'd sit through Dean's numbers because I knew something funny would happen immediately after it, or else something funny had led in to it. I didn't even get the jokes, of course, but I knew that it was supposed to be funny, and as a little kid that's enough. So Dean's seemingly-effortless, laid back style really affected me as a kid, whereas when I was older I noticed that Sinatra was becoming too coy and affected, too lavish. He wasn't the saloon singer bolting out a tune like he was back in the days with Ellington, you know? And Elvis was clearly too self-involved and stagey and clueless by the end, but my boy Dean Martin - man - he came out, he sang, he nailed it every time, and I never felt "Who's this dinosaur lumbering along on stage" with him like I did with the others.
So the great tragedy of my entirely-unimpressive singing career is that I've never really gotten to torch up one of his numbers. I have gotten to do some Orbison songs on occasion, though, so that's something I guess...
DMP: So you are a mutant blogger that diggs singin'....cool.....might we inquire if you are a solo act....or do others share your pad....just wonderin' if you have any youngens that you might be turnin' on to our Dino?
R 3.0: My band is "Republibot 3.0 and the Republibot 3.0 Orchestra featuring Republibot 3.0" - at present it's a four-piece. Not the best name, I admit, but it's memorable in a "That's the worst name I've ever heard" sense, and no one can accuse me of false advertising. You know, come to think of it, to my shame, I don't think I've exposed my kinder to any of Professor Martin's fine Jive. That's a major hole in their cultural armor. I'll have to remedy that...On the bright side, I have introduced them to The Ramones and some other great punk bands...
DMP: Man, it sounds like your mommy and daddy-o lead you to our Dino without even knowin' it...our Dino has so many ways of drawin' pallies into his world. You allude to a story 'bout when our Dino hit numero uno in '64 with "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime"....might that have somethin' to do with a Dinogram sent to 'nother entertainer?
R 3.0: Yeah, yeah! The Beatles were, of course, everywhere in '64, and they ruled the top ten. Elvis had been trying to knock them out of the top spot all year, to no avail, so when "Everybody" hit the number one spot - which *nobody* saw coming - a number one by him in '64 was about as likely as Duke Ellington landing on the moon - Dino sent a telegram to Elvis saying basically, "Since you couldn't do it, I though I'd take care of those pesky Brits for you." I love that story! But I guess you'd already heard it, huh?
DMP: Sounds like our Dino has been your main man musically likes forever....diggin' his classy style as well as his abilty to croon a tune. Likes when did you discover you wanted to be a crooner like our Dino....and in your growin' up years did you try and do any Dinoemulation?
R 3.0: Not specifically. When a ten year old kid starts singing those old standards, it pretty much sets adults to laughing, which wasn't exactly what I was going for, so pretty much I was stuck singing in the church choir, or stuff off my kiddie records ("Grim Grinning Ghosts" from The Haunted Mansion was always a fave), but I've always had a fairly smooth voice when singing, and if I wanted to I could sing in a solid baritone even before my voice changed. Of course when I spoke, I still had the normal prepubescent boy voice...in retrospect, that's kind of weird, isn't it? Hm...
DMP: Dude, likes this may be too personal, but wonderin' what you see as holdin' you back from fulfillin' your Dinodreams?
R 3.0: Nah, not too personal at all. There's an old joke: "What to groupies and singers have in common." The answer? "They both like to hang out with musicians." I'm entirely dependent upon whomever I can con in to being in a band with me. Heavy on the begging and not so much on the choosing, you know? So I've traditionally been limited what I can get these people to do. I spent most of the mid-1990s trying to put together a swing band - this was before the Neo Swing Revival hit, by the way - because I was convinced it was going to be the next big thing, and even if it wasn't, I just dug that kind of music, no one around here was playing it, and I figured it'd be fun. Sing some songs, get some chicks, a free beer or two, the usual, you know? But no dice. When you're dealing with people who's only exposure to music is Lynyrd Skynyr, and you try to sell them on the concept of doing a Bobby Darin number, they look at you as if...well, as if you're Duke Ellington landing on the moon in 1964. They just don't get it. When you're playing in a band with people who honestly believe 90125 is the first album by Yes, you can just kiss off any chances of talking them in to going on stage and playing "Starship Trooper." It's just not going to happen. Alas...I've had to give up on a lot of my halfassed musical schemes. And to be fair, the bigger the band, the more of a nightmare it is to coordinate everyone's schedules so you can practice, right? I mean, I actually had a band in the mid-90s with a four-piece horn section - it was ten people counting me - and I think we were all in the same place at the same time maybe once? No, twice. Then the drummer decided his girlfriend - who I'm convinced was a hooker -should sing, and that was that. I was out.
You want evidence that Dean Martin was a living saint? The fact that he never murdered a drummer should be proof enough that he was.
Well...Keith Moon, I guess...but that was never proved, and anyway I don't think drinking someone under the table counts as 'murder...' Anyway, I *have* been pretty fortunate with original songs, especially when you consider my ambition far outstrips my talent. I may not get the big lush ballads, or the swing band, or the polka band or the bluegrass band of my dreams, but at least I haven't been stuck singing the same damn cover songs by The Clash, like everyone else has. People seem to enjoy my stupid little ditties about aliens and cartoon characters and such.
DMP: Pallie, likes no disrespect meant, but the Ramones before our Dino?....well man, can you tell us how you plan to start Dinoremediation with your closest and dearest?
R 3.0: None taken. I like all kinds of music. I love 30s and 40s music, I love 50s music and 80s music, I like some sixties stuff, but I've really got no use for virtually anything from the 70s. Basically punk and a little bit of prog.
DMP: Since you have had no success with gettin' a band to assist you wil some Dinoemulation....just wonderin' if you have ever thought 'bout usin' some Karaoke....you know doin' some practicin' or no...and then goin' down to a local waterin' hole where you can sing your passion?....btw, found out that even youtube has Karaoke possibilities.....just tryin' to help you out man with lettin' you fulfill your Dinodreams and also helpin' to spread some Dinolove 'round......
R 3.0: Nah, I don't really do Karaoke. Just not my thing. Sorry. Did you know that "The Nutty Professor" was originally supposed to be a Martin-and-Lewis movie?
DMP: Man, still wonderin' what sort of plann your creative mind woulda devise to introduce our Dino to your kith and kin....your house band?
R 3.0: Well, as of right now I'm toying with the idea of watching "My Favorite Wife" with them - the Garner/Day remake of "Something's Got to Give" - and then watching those clips from the unfinished Dean Martin movie you posted, just to show them how different actors can do different things with the same part. I love James Garner, I don't think anyone did exasperation better than him, but Dino just has a completely different level of charm, you know?
DMP: Let's return to your early encounters with our Dino in his flicks specifically "Money From Home" Two questions man, what was it 'bout this caper that made you loves this movie so much? And, today pallies are speakin' 'bout how our Dino and the jer were the greatest bromantic duo ever...wonderin' what you take is on the relationship between our great man and the kid...on and off screen?
R 3.0: [Cringing] "Bromance," huh? Ok. Well, I was ten or eleven, we'd just gotten our first VCR - a Betamax, of course - and I was sick. I had Pneumonia, so I couldn't go to school or anything, and that movie happened to come on, and just for the heck of it we taped it, because it was on kind of late and my dad figured I'd fall asleep before it was over. I didn't, but over the next month that I was homebound, I must have watched that damn movie a hundred times. I just loved it. I learned how to fake an English accent by memorizing dialog from the film. So that one's always been kind of fixed in my mind as the quintessential Martin-and-Lewis movie, though I'm the first one to admit that it's one of their weaker films. But as a sick kid, it was just the funniest thing I'd ever seen - Lewis was so funny, and Dean was just so damn cool.
As to their friendship and the way it went south, I think both of them have summed it up pretty well themselves, you know? How long can you keep doing "Have you taken a bath?" "No. Why? Is one missing?" jokes. The schtick was getting a bit long in the tooth, but they weren't in a position where they could change it, and they didn't have the kind of wise-ass relationship with the audience that Bing-and-Bob had, you know, where both they and the audience were sort of conspiring to make fun of the movie they were in. Martin and Lewis didn't have that, and it wouldn't have worked for them anyway, different kind of humor, so I suppose it was inevitable that they'd start to kind of feel trapped by it and kind of take it out on each other. Dino was a hell of a lot funnier by then, and Martin was becoming more serious as well. You probably knew this, but the studio offered a bonus to anyone who could come up with a concept for a Martin/Lewis movie where both of them wouldn't have to be on the screen together, so as to avoid the tension between them. That's how "The Nutty Professor" came around: Lewis would take the potion and turn in to Martin. The duo broke up before it could be filmed, and Lewis decided to make it anyway, so "Mister Jive" is Lewis doing an impersonation of how HE saw Dino, which Dino rightfully took as an insult, but it was still kind of fascinating.
It makes me really, really happy to know that they did, eventually, patch things up, though it took thirty years. I'm glad to know that when the end came for Dino, he had a friend around who knew him as well as Lewis did. I'm glad he didn't go out alone.
DMP: You also have shared how at a pretty young age you met up with our Dino on Sunday afternoon showin's of the Matt Helm flicks. Would you speak 'bout the impact these Dinoclassics had on you at the time and the long-term impact of embracin' 'em as a devotee of our Dino?
R 3.0: Sure. Well, every city in America had a UHF station back in those days - mid-seventies - that were endlessly running old movies and old sitcoms and "Bowling for Dollars" and crap like that, and the UHF station in my town...evidently they didn't bother to screen stuff before they ran it. So the first time I ever saw a naked woman in a movie was actually around 1976 when they ran the original, uncut version of "Tarzan and His Mate," complete with the five-minute long skinny-dipping scene where Tarzan rips off Jane's dress and throws her in the water. There's nothing dirty about it, but still it was pretty shocking to see just when you're starting to hit that phase in your life where you're noticing girls, and you're not sure *why* you're noticing girls. Likewise, when they ran the Helm movies, I was just stunned by the acres of girl-flesh and the unrepentant smarm. Again, there wasn't anything specifically dirty in 'em, and no real nudity, but it was about as close as you could get without showing it at times. So to me that was just mezmerizing, and of course on top of all that, it was a spy film, so how could it get any cooler? And Dino singing parody versions of his own songs was - to me at the time - hillarious. So I always made a point to watch those whenever they came up in the rotation. Some years later, the station evidently realized they'd been overly permissive, and suddenly Tarzan and His Mate *didn't* have the skinny-dipping scene, which was a shame because Maureen O'Sullivan was unexpectedly, undeniably hot, and suddenly the Helm movies were chopped to ribbons to remove the more objectionable scenes. I still watched them in their bowdlerized form, but eventually I drifted away. Then, in the 80s, we got cable and UHF stations started to fade away, and the movies I grew up on - the "Road" movies and the Martin/Lewis flicks and the Bowery Boys films and what have you - they all just disappeared. I can't tell you the last time I saw a Bowery Boys film on TV. It's probably been thirty years. Anyway, by that point Dino was well established in my mind as an effortlessly funny, effortlessly charming, effortlessly cool leading man. Definitely he shaped my impression of how to work a room at a party, you know? How to smooth up on girls and stuff. I'm not saying I could pull it off, mind you, but I think my more convivial traits have their genesis with him. Even little things, like "Always carry a glass, so no one tries to shake your hand, and that gives you a more detached, lordly impression," undoubtedly I learned that from him.
DMP: Pallie, couple of thoughts before we move on. I believe you mean "Move Over, Darling" as the remake of "My Favorite Wife". Thinks it is sheer brillance on your part to invite your crew to view the James/Doris flick with our Dino/Miss Marilyn...btw, thinks you knows that clips of the unfinished "Something's Gotta Give" are on the DVD of "Move." Let's is know how that goes.
R 3.0: Whups, you're right! You're totally right, it's "Move Over, Darling," not "My Favorite Wife." Thanks for correcting me on that.
DMP: Obviously you don't subscribe to the bromance notion between Dino and the kid. Loves hearin' how our Dino helped you with detachment....somethin' I'm workin' on this very Dinomoment....the glass idea is so so cool....gonna tries that. So thanks for all those Dinoimpressions.....
R 3.0: Nah, it's not that I don't subscribe to it, I just have a hard time imagining the two of them gadding about like JD and Turk from Scrubs, you know?
DMP: Let's move on.....so man, wonderin' if you have read any of the Dinobios and if so what are your impressions of said Dinotomes?
R 3.0: You know, I've never actually read any, come to think of it. I read "Yes, I Can," which had some Rat Pack stuff in it, but obviously that wasn't ABOUT Dino. Also, I learned about the Martin-and-Lewis plan for The Nutty Professor from reading Leslie Nielsen's "The Naked Truth" (He had a part in their final movie), but I've never actually read a book about him myself.
DMP: Also, wonderin' if you are a collector of much Dinotreasure.....knows you have the Matt Helm quartet of Dinoflicks....but likes what else might ya have to enjoys our Dino?
R 3.0: I'm not much of a collector of anything, really. I had a few old 78s that I lost in a move some years ago, and I glanced wistfully at a number of CD Re-issues back during the Neo-Swing Revival in the late '90s, but honestly, aside from the Helm movie collection, I don't have anything. I can only imagine that says horrible things about me as a person.
DMP: Man, I diggs your thoughts are tryin' to put a modern spin on past events...which leads me to 'nother question for ya.... In my work for our Dino, I am likes findin' more and more of today's youth turnin' on to our great man.....our Dino is more popular then ever....would you be willin' to share why you think that a Dinorevolution is occurin' in this day and this time?
R 3.0: Oh, yeah, it's easy. It's basically the same thing that drove the Neo-Swing revival a decade back: We live in a very informal world. No tie, no coat, lots of stubble, no sophistication, no elegance, no glamor. It's hard to tell the adults from the kids because there's not a significant difference either in dress code or behavior. The lack of any real structure in society makes people feel a little bit adrift, and the lack of any real classy behavior makes some people yearn for the more magical worlds we see in movies. The music on the radio falls in to three or four genres, with not enough experimentation or variation to hold one's interest for very long once you hit about 25 or 30. So some people hit this stage where they look around and realize that life is tedious and mistakes have obviously been made. Movies are always there as an example of what came before, so it's not too surprising that some people would want to take a few steps back to a time that was a bit more formal, but still fun and sexy, and then tenatively move forward again on a different angle, one that avoids some of the mistakes their baby boomer grandparents and generation X parents made in casting off everything of value.
In the case of Dino, I think his appeal now is exactly what it was back in the day: He's classy and polished and refined, but he never appears stiff or formal. He's got the style, but none of the stuffyness, he's fun to hang around with, and when the need arises, he can pull out the talent on a moment's notice, but he never slides in to the open goofyness or outright mugging. He's a very laid back, fun kind of formality, where the formality just serves to give emphasis to the guy underneath, which is very reassuring to classless loosers like me who really don't know their shrimp fork from their salad fork.
DMP: Might I suggest that you consider readin' Nick Tosches' amazin' Dinobio, "DINO: Living High In The Dirty Business Of Dreams." It is the definite word on our main man. I also thinks that you would find mucho congruity between your writin' style and Mr. Tosches. Wonderin' if have ever heard of this Dinotome?
R 3.0: I've never heard of it, but I'll be sure to track down a copy and give it a read.
DMP: Horrible thin's 'bout 'bout you personally, never dude.....just thinks it shows how much room you have to grow in surroundin' yourself with our King of Cool. So, let me ask this....if you were to make a wish list of Dinotreasure....what sorta Dinostuff woulda be at the tops of your list?
R 3.0: I think I'd like his comic book collection. Failing that, one of his cars, I guess. That Stutz Blackhawk of his was super-sweet. Can you imagine how cool it would to go tooling around in that - ideally with stacks of Dino's old comics on the passenger seat? I don't think I'd ever get over that. I'd get gas, and it'd be like "I'm pumping gas...In Dean Martin's Car!" or "I'm listening to Siouxie and the Banshees....in Dean Martin's Car!" or "I'm at the drive in watching a Dean Martin movie...in Dean Martin's Car!"
DMP: Dude, likes if you are interested in addin' a Dinoride to your collection, you are in luck....on August 14 one of our Dino's stellar automobiles is goin' on the block....checks out...
http://ilovedinomartin.blogspot.com/2009/08/rat-pack-classic-cars-up-for-auction.html .....not the stutz, but this Ghia looks really cool......
R 3.0: Beautiful, but too rich for my blood, alas.
DMP: Gotta 'fess up when I was thinkin' of Dinotreasure, I was thinkin' more humbly of thin's like our great man's musical CDs, DVDS of his flicks and the Dinoshow, bios, etc. So wonderin' if there are particular Dinomovies or Dinocds that you woulda loves to have for your very Dino-own?
R 3.0: It's been a long time since I've seen the original Ocean's 11.
DMP: Movin' on, seein' how you are an expert in Sci Fi, and knowin' that our Dino never had the op to enter into this genre.....wonderin' if you were to direct a Sci Fi flick, what sorta role woulda you cast our great man in?
R 3.0: Oooh! Really good question! I've never even thought of that one before. Ok, hm. Well, it depends on what the story is, and what era of Dino we're looking at - is he a younger guy, or middle aged, or old? If he was a younger guy, I'd probably cast him as some sort of Science Fiction detective like Rick Deckard from Blade Runner, though something with a comedic edge would probably work better, so maybe Dirk Gently. If he were an older guy, I'd put him in some sort of Sydney Greenstreet "Mr. Big" kind of role, you know, the older, disarmingly friendly, powerful guy that nobody's quite sure about, but everyone lives in fear of crossing. Or...oh! I got it! You know what would be perfect? "The Stainless Steel Rat." He's a criminal in the future, a really likeable anti-hero who's got no use for authority, but a moral qualm against ever hurting anyone. Occasionally he's a bit of a Robin Hood, occasionaly the government enlists him as a spy, sometimes he commits crimes because he's greedy, but mostly he does it because he's bored and likes the challenge of pulling off 'impossible' crimes. There's ten or so books, some with him as a kid, some with him as a relatively old man, he gets a wife and eventually kids as the series progresses. They're sort of really clever comedy-adventures, and they're no end of fun. I've never figured why no one ever made a movie out of any of them. I would totally cast Dino as the main character, "Slippery Jim DiGrizz, The Stainless Steel Rat." He's be utterly perfect in the part, it would play to all his strengths, and we could have young Dino play young Jim, and older Dino play older Jim. If I had my druthers, that would be perfect. So perfect in fact, that now that you've made me think of this, I can't imagine anyone other than Mr. M. in the role...
DMP: Glad to have struck a note with you pallie, so you sez 'bout our Dino playin' Slippery Jim Digrizz...." it would play to all his strengths." Dude, likes woulda you be willin' to expound on this thought?
R 3.0: Sure. James Bolivar DiGriz is a con man with a heart of gold. Well, silver anyway. He's been known to enjoy a drink now and again, he's handsome, he likes the ladies (Until he married a beautiful psychopath who's all he can handle), he's quick witted, good in a fight, enjoys fine living, and he's pretty funny besides. He steals from the rich and occasionally gives to the poor, but more often he simply gives to himself under the theory that the poor really don't know what to do with money anyway, which is why the're poor. He takes jobs more for his own ammusement - a robbery-proof facility strikes him as a challenge - rather than any particular gain, and he's so good at his job that occasionally the Government uses him for assignments they either can't figure out, or which are just too underhanded for them to have any official dealings with. His missions seldom go as planned, but seeing this smart, somewhat suave guy scrambling to salvage a situation that's quickly falling apart, and somehow managing to turn it to his advantage is always the best part of the stories, and nobody played rapidly-escalating exasperation the way Dino did. Half of some of the stories is him lying his way in to and out of trouble, and desparately trying to keep track of his own stories. It's just fun, lots of good adventure stuff, lots of action, lots of comedy, lots of fun ideas, and though he's an anti-hero who's completely unrepentant about beign a criminal, he's got a very solid code of ethics that he never breaks. He will not, for instance, kill anyone. Ultimately, he's a guy who's a little too smart and a little too lazy for his own good, and he plays by his own code. That sounds like the kind of thing that would fit Dino to a Tee.
DMP: Wells, great to see that you struck some golden thoughts 'bout our Dino and Sci Fi and this DiGriz dude from "Stainless Steel Rat." Before we moves on, any last thoughts on our Dino and possible Sci Fri adventures?
R 3.0: None that could top that, really. That's my moment of brilliance for the day. I know he liked comics, though. Maybe throwing him in as a Green Lantern in the background or something. Actually, what would be really cool - and it wouldn't have to be an SF movie - is if somebody took all the footage and dialog of Dino from "Somethings Got to Give" and wrote a movie around it, incorperating him as a character in a modern movie. You know, digitally edit him out of the unfinished 60s movie and then digitally insert him as a character in to a new film. That would be super-cool, and it seems a shame to have such a high profile actor with about half of a performance in the can that no one will ever see. Ok, so I get *two* moments of brilliance today.
DMP: What a cool idear.....man, how 'bout expandin' on that Dinonotion....what sorta plot line woulda you image, what sorta character would you see our Dino playin'....this is truly a brilliant Dinonotion...takes you time pallie, if you are outta brillance for the day...shares some tomorrow...really eager to hear more on this....<<<
R 3.0: Hm. I'm not sure I can really do that one justice. What have we got? We've got ten or fifteen minutes of early 60s Dino running around, mixing drinks, talking to someone about a cheating wife, wandering by the pool, wandering by a different pool, lying in bed, talking with someone about cohabiting on an island, him chucking a robe out a window, and a few odds and ends, and him on a plane. Oh, and the court scene that takes place in the beginning. (By the way, I have to appreciate the fact that the only part of the film they were able to complete was the famous skinny dipping scene. "You know, Marilyn is getting increasingly hard to work with, so let's shoot all the stuff with her wet and naked first, and after that, who gives a damn?" You have to admire that kind of mind for business.) Ok, so any movie we canibalized Dino's scenes for would have to be a period piece, set in the very early sixties, otherwise his clothes and stuff would seem distracting. And with only 10 or 15 minutes, we can't have him be the main character. At best, he'd be a subplot. The dialog all seems to imply a cheating spouse, if we only listen to his side of it, so any dialog written around it would have to reflect that. So probably I'd have a running sub plot about him being the best friend/lawyer of the protagonist of our hypothetical little movie, and then have it be a running gag that the lawyer is running around with a crazy wife cheating on him, trying to straighten that out, and therefore isn't actually doing what the protagonist is paying him to do. I dunno. That's pretty weak. Anyway, there's definitely enough stuff there to use for SOMETHING.
DMP: Man, you gots the beginnin's of a great Dinoproject.....your thought kinda remind me of a combination of the two Dinoflicks in the Dean Martin Double Feature DVD...."Who Was That Lady / How To Save A Marriage." If likes you gets some more thoughts...feel free to share 'em.
R 3.0: I'm blanking on that right now, I'm sorry.
DMP: Well, mixin' our Dino and Sci Fi gots you on a Dinoroll....so let's try 'nother interest of yours.....knows besides Sci Fi you diggs the space programme....nows we know that early on in "The Silencers" our Dino while in his round bed tells Mac on the telephone that he is way up in a space capsule shot from Cape Kennedy and there are some space refs in "The Ambushers" as well. Just wonderin' if your amazin'ly creative mind woulda have any planns how our Dino might mix with some space adventures ....likes in real life...or a movie or tv gigg on space travel?
R 3.0: Oh, yeah, definitely. Every spy series from the sixties quickly ran out of stuff that spies would realistically get tangled up in, and every spy series eventually started using more and more Science Fiction elements in their stories to compensate for this. Lasers, Two-Way-Wrist-Radios, Mind Control, Cloning, Ultimate Computers, you name it, sometimes even Aliens - there's that episode of "The Avengers" where sentient martian plants start taking over a town in England. This whole mix-and-match subgenre is called "Spy-Fi," (A variation on "Sci-Fi")and everyone did it eventally, even the heavy-hitters like the Bond franchise ("Moonraker," anyone? "You Only Live Twice," perhaps?) Definitely, absolutely, positively "The Ambushers" fits very solidly in to the Spy-Fi concept, since it revolves around an experimental space ship. Actually, one idea in there is actually very clever, and I've never seen it done anywhere else, though it's actually pretty brilliant: I love the idea that the ship uses some kind of esoteric doubletalk drive system that coincidentally happens to kill any men who are anywhere near it. That's just a neat idea! Of course it kind of sucks if you're a dude who wants to be an astronaut, but the idea that a drive system is completely harmless to one gender, and lethal to another is just the kind of unexpected, crazy-yet-plausible complication that you would expect to turn up, you know? And it lends itself to all kinds of neat stories: What if Warp Drive killed dudes? Starships could only be populated by women, and colonization of other planets simply couldn't happen, except perhaps by invitro fertilization. And if warp drive killed chicks, then colonization would never happen at all.
Of course such a situation would be an anathema to Dean Martin.
Now, if *I* were gonna' do an SF story involving Dino...hm. I'd probably have him be basically Dino. He'd be an entertainer, traveling around the solar system, going from outpost to outpost and colony to colony, doing what he did best, being a saloon singer and a cutup entertainer. He'd just go from place to place, providing entertainment for the locals in East Jerkwater, Mars and Ass-End-Of-Nowhere, Ganymede and Utopia Paradise, Venus (Original name, "Ulcerative Collitisville"). En rout, and on location he'd have various adventures which would tell us more about what life in the semi-populated solar system a century hence would be like - what the crimes are, what the crimes no longer are, what people like to eat, who they vote for, what everyone hates, what everyone fears, what everyone loves, stuff like that. That could be fun, and we could even make it mildly educational - instead of Star Treking it, where every planet is Planet SoCal, we could limit ourselves to the Solar System itself, and say no one's gone further yet, and we could do reasonably realistic portrayals of what the planets and moons and asteroids are like. Instead of being a bland, clean, white, shopping mall version of the future, it could be more wild-and-wooley, with wildcat miners and settlers out on the fringes of society, trying hard to make it, and not entirely sure they will. We could obey the laws of physics insofar as that's possible, which is something SF on TV is notoriously bad about (Excepting, mostly, Babylon 5 of course, which got some stuff wrong, but tried really hard to get it right). It would be really rolicking and fun in a 1950s swashbuckling kind of sense.
Say, that actually sounds pretty good. It's pretty derivative of "Golden Globe" and "Rolling Thunder" by John Varley, and "Firefly" by Joss Whedon, and, really, just about every SF novel written in the fifties, but it still doesn't sound bad.
DMP: Woo-hoo, it sounds cool to me dude. Wonder what you thinks 'bout havin' our Dino in Space capers havin' our great man as an entertainer persona....but possibly doin' undercover work as well.....sorta an out-in-space version of Matt Helm.....any thoughts on this Dinonotion?
R 3.0: Well, I don't think I'd have him be a spy or government assasin or anything like that. I think I'd just have him be what he appears to be: An Entertainer. For whatever reason, he likes hanging out on the fringes, and I'd probably steal the old Beowulf Schaefer saw about having him be too lazy to stay out of trouble, but smart enough to eventualy extricate himself when the bad stuff eventually goes down.
DMP: Dude, likes one Dinoquire that I likes to ask pallies is, like if you were able to spend 24 hours with our Dino, how would you most enjoy spendin' the Dinotime?
R 3.0: I'm not sure. My gut instinct is to go clubbing with him in '50s Vegas, maybe ask him what Humphrey Bogart was really like. I find you learn more about people when they're talking about others than when they're talking about themselves. But I think that might be too superficial. The thing that's always interested me about Dean was that I always felt like there was a fair ammount of difference between his public persona and his private self, and I'd like to get a sense of what his private self was like. I heard, for instance, that he wasn't nearly as big a lush as people thought he was, he just discovered that if he had a drink in his hand, people didn't try to shake it or bug him for an autograph, and if he affected a slightly buzzed glow, he could get away with saying things that would offend people otherwise, so he generally faked that. Except, of course, when he really was drunk. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's an interesting idea that a lot of what we think of as Dean Martin was just a character he played in public, and then he'd go home at night and simply be Dino Paul Crocetti when nobody was looking, or when only the people he trusted were looking. So I think if I got to spend a day, I'd spend it trying to figure out who Mr. Crocetti was, you know? Hang out, low key, watch TV, listen to records, read comics, talk about his friends, trade stories about stupid stuff we've done, or crazy things we've seen, talk about movies, talk about music, you know, just really low key. I don't think I'd really want to *do* anything other than just hang out at his house and eat ham sandwiches and drink beer and hear him scream profanity at Jerry Lewis. That'd be more than enough, really. I dunno. Is that a lame answer? Probably. And for all I know, there is no substantial difference between Crocetti and Martin, but it would be interesting to hang out with him for a day and try to find that out.
DMP: As, we winde down this Dinointerview, wonderin' what questions that you woulda liked to have me ask you 'bout your Dinointerest?
R 3.0: To be honest, I don't know. This has been a much deeper - and more fun - interview than I anticipated, and it's gone in a lot of directions I couldn't have planned ahead of time. I do have a question for you, though - were there any projects that Martin really fought for, but didn't get, or something that he had in the works that you would have liked to have seen, but which just never came off? Was there a "From Here to Eternity" or "Manchurian Candidate" kind of project that he didn't get that you think could have really made people take him seriously as a heavy-hitting actor that ended up going to someone else, or just some really interesting thing like that? Just curious.
DMP: Pallie, not a lame answer at all....likes so many of us that love our Dino woulda likes to know the same sorta thin's 'bout our Dino that you are cravin'.....a huge part of what makes our Dino so desired is that in the words of wife #2, mother Jeanne, our Dino was "a total egnima"....likes totally unknowable to everyone 'round him....and a huge part of that was his amazin' detachement from everyone and everythin' 'round him. One of the most facinatin' aspects of the Dinopersona is that once he cut loose from the Jeanne, his outward persona seemed to be so much more congruent with his stage persona. In the seventies our Dino became the consumate swingin' dude.....clubbin' at discotheques likes the Candy Store with youngens' like Gail Renshaw, the 21 year old Miss USA and Cathy "with the candified K" Hawn, who became wife #3 at 24 years of age. It was sometime durin' this era that he grew fond of percodan, and his drinkin' life became much more lush as well. (btw, have you ever read Denis Leary's true Dinotale of how he was invited into the inner Dinosanctum to party hearty with our Dino?)
R 3.0: That would follow, really. He was 'on' both on and off stage. Fits with a lot of what Jerry Lewis said about him in the early days, that he was very closed off from some experiences in his childhood. And then splitting from Jeanne becomes part of a slightly belated mid-life crisis.
DMP: While leads me to 'nother Dinoquire..... wonderin' what are the aspects of our Dino that you woulda likes to most emulate in your own version of the Dinolife?
R 3.0: I really should drink more. And I could do with owning a few more tuxedos.
DMP: Well, man, I woulda say the same thin'...this interviewin' of you is just pure Dinopleasure for me as well....and dude that is likes because of your amazin' depth and funlovin' way as a person. Answer to your question is I dunno know man....but my hunch is pretty much probably not.....yeah, our Dino was thrilled to be able to perform with Marlon Brando and Monty Clift in "The Young Lions"....there is a cool Dinointerview on vid where our Dino sez this. But, mostly Dino did what he wanted to do...and found a way to have fun while doin' it. It there ever was a flick that he wished he woulda done it woulda probably been a western...as you know he hearted westerns.
R 3.0: I was watching "The Unbeatable Bruce Lee" some years ago, and they had interview footage with both Dino and James Garner, and from that time to this, I've been wishing the two of them could have co-starred in a comedy western of some sort. No specific ideas for what it would be like, but that would have been fun.
DMP: So, let's we rearrange the Dinoquire for you.....what are some roles that you woulda loves to have seen our Dino play?....we already know from you how cool it woulda been if our Dino has played in "The Stainless Steel Rat."
R 3.0: I'm kind of tapped out, though I always thought Mr. M. would have fit right in as a guest-Artie in the final season of The Wild Wild West. You know, the one where Artie wasn't around for most of the season because Ross Martin had a heart attack, so while he was out they hurriedly re-wrote his parts in the script for a variety of guest stars. That would have been cool.
DMP:So pallie, as we brings these Dinoquires to a close, wonderin' what partin' words of wisdom you have 'bout our Dino to leave with fellow Dinoholics?
R 3.0: Oh, are we done? Wow. That was fast. Thank you very much for talking to me. This was actually the first time I've ever been interviewed, so thank you very much for the opportunity.
You want parting words of Dino wisdom, huh? Well, I was gonna' recite the lyrics to "Everybody Loves Somebody" in a Shatner kinda' way. as though the words were pregnant with meaning, but that's a cheap gag, isn't it? I think a fundamental aspect of Dino's cool to me was that one shouln't be too optomistic or too pessimistic. Whether the glass is half full or half empty doesn't matter, because either way, there's still plenty of room for more alcohol in there. Which is a belabored way of saying 'don't get too attached to things the way they are.' Whether things are good or bad, there's always room for improvement, and if you're kind of aloof but not unfriendly, if you're engagingly reserved, you tend to have a better, more detached eye for change when it comes, and where it's coming from. That's rule number one. Rule number two that I get from him is that it's better to have people think things about you than to know things about you, you know? A little mystery never hurt anyone. Rule number three: I don't care who it is or where they are, eventually, at some point in everybody's life, everybody loves a crooner.
DMP: Man, the pleasure has all been mine....nice to chat with someone who truly admires our Dino likes you do. Dude, thanks for those words of Dinowisdom. The cup analogy carries such Dinotruth and if all us Dinoholics coulda live by the three Dinorules you have put into such creative Dinoterms what a different world it woulda be.
Don't means to belabor the conclusion of this interview pallie, but you gots me wonderin' when and how you came to what I consider to be truly brillant insights into the Dinonature....the cup analogy, the three Dinorules (particularly the first two)....so likes can you speak of the source of such Dinounderstandin'?
R 3.0: The movies, mostly, I guess. Not the Matt Helm movies, but I mean all the Dean Martin and Martin-and-Lewis movies. He just seemed cool, you know? And then you hit this phase in your life when you're a teen or whatever, and you try to disect what it is about cool people that makes it work for 'em, and Dino had that in spades, man.
DMP: Indeed man, our Dino has cool in spades for Dinosure. Well, thanks again dude for sharin' your Dinojourney with us and for helpin' to lift of the name of our Dino and helpin' get the Dinomessage of cool spread Dinofar and Dinowide.