It is hard to believe the clip below is about 50 years old. It shows a moment of Christmas on television like they never show any more. The annual Christmas variety show was a staple for nearly 30 years and all the big stars of music had such shows — Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como. Andy Williams was called Mr. Christmas because of his many Christmas albums and his annual show.
Dean Martin, of course, had a regular show in the late 50s and early 60s and then did an annual Christmas show for years. He was, of course, a member of the Rat Pack and a dear friend of Frank Sinatra. That is part of what makes a clip like this not only a nostalgic favorite but as well as a historical footnote. This is TV like you don’t see any more.
Neither Sinatra or Martin were serious Christmas fans. They made money off of Christmas but their serious musical pursuits were not in Christmas. Christmas was party time — and again, this clip showcases that fact.
But it’s fun. It’s spontaneous. It’s largely unscripted. Martin is probably drunk. Regardless, they’re having a great time and it is a far cry from what you see from Michael Buble or Blake Shelton at Christmas on their television specials of today: