Written by Chuck Barber
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Topics: Death, Alcohol

Friday, 7 May 2004

image for Dean Martin -- Back From the Dead;  Pull of Bottle Proves Stronger Than Death
Dean Martin -- The years of death have taken their toll

Friends and family members who once cursed Dean Martin's addiction to alcohol now are rejoicing over his habit.

"Hooray for alcoholism," one cousin screamed as the formerly dead singer slowly shuffled out of his hospital room and down the corridor.

Looking tired and slightly pale the famed singer and actor, speaking at a press conference in the lobby of the Hollywood Hospital for Drunken Actors, vowed to "return to Vegas and Hollywood."

Martin initially gained fame as part of the comedy team Martin and Lewis when he teamed with comedian Jerry Lewis to form one of the hottest comedy acts of the late 1940s and early 50s. Moving into film in 1949 the duo were featured in My Friend Irma with Martin playing his usual straight man to the crazed Lewis.

The team worked together until friction brought about largely by Martin's drinking drove them apart in 1956.

Alone, Martin acted in films and appeared in Las Vegas until his drinking caused him to gain a reputation as undependable. More than once Martin simply fell over, dead drunk in the middle of a song. Stories, some apocryphal, some verifiable, were ready filler for tabloid journalists looking for a easy story.

His career in serious decline, Martin first turned to Zabel Brothers Circus where, starting from a brief one song spot outside the rings, he soon moved into a featured spot in the middle ring. Parlaying this success into a return to television Martin quickly landed the staring role in his own television show: The Dean Martin Show. Initially successful, despite the star's continuing propensity for drink, leading him to sobering up immediately before taping -- if at all -- The Dean Martin Show soon began the slide which culminated in The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast where a dozen inebriated, dubiously famous 'celebrities' insulted another equally besotted and befuddled celebrity. With the cancelling of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast his career was effectively over.

At his peak Martin was said to drink over three quarts of Scotch daily. Martin famously denied these charges answering, "I only drink out of half gallon bottles, so it's hard to tell." Family and friends defended him against allegations of drunkenness, but Martin did not make their jobs any easier by using the fountains at Caesar's Palace as his not-so-private restroom.

His doctors were at a loss to explain his return from the dead, but cautioned against alcoholism as a therapy to cheat death. "It usually does not work," said Dr. Vernand Hotlier, Martin's doctor before and after death. "Most people simply do not have the constitution, or the will to drink Dean Martin does. He was, and is an exceptional man."

A lifelong Catholic, Martin's return was initially seen by the Church as proof that God does indeed work in "mysterious ways." However, soon after his resurrection Biblical conservatives began to protest that interpretation. Bishop John Gacy, speaking for the American church released a statement saying that: "Those protesting his revival simply do not understand the ways of God and man."

Bishop Gacy referred in particular to the protesters camped outside the Hollywood Hospital for Drunken Actors who believe that Martin has been returned to Earth by Satan to serve as a spiritual guide to Hell.

Martin had been dead since 1995.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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