It's incredible in these roasts to see the greats lined up on the dais. To listen to the humour akin to thinking out loud with no regard for what's correct to joke about. It's old era ... See full summary »
The other commentator actually reviewed the second Michael Landon roast, done in 1984, at the tail end of Dean Martin's television run. This earlier roast dates from 1975, at the conclusion of the first season of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, which is described by Jan Murray as the Sleeper of the Year: "at least that's how it affects me!" Phyllis Diller admits she's never met Michael: "but I think I'm carrying your child!" Ernest Borgnine describes his friendship with the guest of honor: "he's a punk!" Joey Bishop claims to have watched BONANZA only once, as he turned it off after hearing them calling Landon "Little Jew." Norm Crosby talks about heroes like Alexander Hamilton, "who built roads and established schools," or Aaron Burr, "who went out and shot Alexander Hamilton!" Euell Gibbons, who died later that year at age 64, reveals why he spent 40 years in the wilderness: "one day, I left the house to pick up a pizza and I got lost!" By far the most surprising guest is Guy Marks, as talented an impressionist as any other, who does a singing Indian chief that speaks Italian, along with Humphrey Bogart ("there's no towels in the men's room"), Gary Cooper, and Robert Mitchum ("why don't you ask him when we get to smoke the pipe!"). Cliff Robertson tells how Michael proves to be a city boy ("like the time you tried to brand your cows with a magic marker"), Sid Caesar gave him acting lessons ("the horse you ride, the girl you kiss!"), Amanda Blake talks about her love life with Chester on GUNSMOKE ("why do you think he was always limping all the time?"), and Don Rickles does a rather embarrassing reenactment of Landon's first starring role, "I Was a Teenage Werewolf." Former BONANZA co-stars Lorne Greene and Victor Sen Yung ('Hop Sing') take their hilarious shots at the ambitious Landon, who concludes the evening with a marvelous summation on the popularity of television: "let's face it, television is an invention where you're entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your house!"
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