It's Dean Martin, Ken Lane and Foster Brooks in "The Bar/Airline Pilot" (circa 1969). The sheer political incorrectness of this skit is fascinating. Smoking, drinking and howling at the idea of intoxicated airline pilots? These days, it would be grounds for a boycott and Facebook meme.
Why would Roger even go there? There are five reasons.
- It's funny.
- Foster Brooks was a Louisvillian (Cactus Tom's brother, in fact).
- Brooks wasn't a drinker in real life, and he played one dead sober.
- I thought about Brooks over the holidays while seated near an actual drunkard at a local bar.
- 2016 is the year for me to re-read Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams, a biography of Dean Martin, written by Nick Tosches.
Yes, it is possible to chart the entire 20th-century history of American pop culture, and a good deal of non-pop culture history, through an examination of the life of entertainer Dean Martin.
ON THE POP CULTURE TRAIL WITH; Being Boswell to Dean Martin, by Karen Schoemer (New York Times)
... "I would describe Dean as a noble character in an ignoble racket in an ignoble age," (Tosches) said. "He made out his role in American culture, and American culture itself, as basically a racket. In his own way he seemed to be a man who lived by a code. Whether or not that code was light or dark, he seemed to live by it. He seemed to possess a certain honesty that's very rare. And he managed to keep the world at bay, and not interfere with the business of his being, whatever that was."