Likes how totally totally thrillin' it is to soak in Smight's marvelous memories of workin' with the greatest comedic team the world has ever known. It is so incredibly inspirin' to read fantastic first-hand accounts of what our Dino and Mr. Lewis were like durin' the filmin' of the Colgates. Mr. Smight reverently recounts mesmerizin' moments with Martin and Lewis that only someone who was there could recount. Likes we are energetically enthralled to read Smight's touchin' 'n tender thoughts 'bout our Dino statin', "But there was a gentle side of Dino, and I liked him very much. He was always very kind to me."
We thanks nephew Mr. J.P. Meyers for bringin' his uncle Mr. Jack Smight's mighty memories to life at the blog "Medium" for all of us to read and reflect on. To read more of Mr. Smight's marvelous memories, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram to goes to Mr. Meyer's original post.
Yours in Dino,
Dino Martin Peters
This is the story of Director Jack Smight’s life in entertainment written by himself
This is the story of Jack Smight’s life in entertainment written by himself. He was a Hollywood Director. He gave this manuscript to my mother (he was her brother) in the early 2000’s. As far as I know it’s never been published. I digitized it from a printed copy. I’m posting this only to share with people who are interested in reading it. It’s quite good and an entertaining read. It’s about 150 pages in print. It’s Hollywood history that should be shared, not just sit on a shelf. I’m still fixing the formatting but it’s all there.
FIVE-FOUR-THREE-TWO-ONE — MUSIC!
WRITTEN BY JACK SMIGHT
MEMORIES: MARTIN AND LEWIS
What a pair! For a number of years in nightclubs they had wowed audiences from New York to Las Vegas. Jerry with his neurotic child-like behavior, and Dean, with drink in hand, and his semi-Italian baritone, had taken the country by storm. At a rehearsal for one of their shows, Jerry came up to me and said, ‘Why don’t you laugh at me you black haired son of a bitch?
(l had black hair at the time) In my naïve Irish-Catholic innocence, I responded: “I laugh when you’re funny Jerry.” Needless to say, that didn’t stand me in very good stead with him. As the shows went on, on a number of occasions, he cut off my necktie…on camera LIVE! During one show he pulled me on stage (LIVE! coast-to-coast), took off my headset, put the earpiece over his eye and the mouthpiece into my mouth like dentist, and said: “Kid, you need a lot of dental work!”
In later years, when I had been fortunate to achieve some prominence as a director, Jerry called on a number occasions to compliment me on the advancement of my career and reminisce about the early days.
Dean Martin had a different, albeit equally gross sense of humor. He came to rehearsal one day, approached me and displayed a ring on one hand. “See that ring kid? Got that off a dead Jap. No, I wasn’t in the war…my gardener dropped dead!” I grimaced and slithered into a corner of the rehearsal hall. But there was a gentle side of Dino, and I liked him very much. He was
always very kind to me.
In these early days of live television, The cameras were bulky and hard to maneuver. They also had what was called a lens turret containing four to five lenses…and the lenses were expensive. Jerry would show up at rehearsal, go to the front of a camera and unscrew a lens and throw it into the seats of the theater. Nobody laughed. Dean, on the other hand, would tell a really funny joke and the crew would fall down. So much for the difference in their humor.
J and B scotch brought into the dressing room between dress rehearsal and air time didn’t help the comedy timing…many shows could have been funnier. A pitcher of orange juice would have worked better.