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Doors & Doorbells
Dean Martin's Closet Door - During 200 episodes of the variety program THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW/NBC/1965-74, singer Dean Martin routinely opened a closet door at his on-stage bachelor pad to find a surprise guest of the week.

Dean Martin Singing
Dean Martin Croons a Tune in his TV Apartment

The idea originated when the producer of the show needed a way for Dean's comedian uncle Leonard Barr to make a surprise entrance on the show. The spot was so well received, the producer's began putting surprise celebrity guest inside the closet each week.

The fun thing about the closet door skit was that Dean never knew week-to-week who was behind the door.

Stars "coming out of the closet" included such notables as Jack Benny, Johnny Carson, Flip Wilson, Jimmy Durante, Red Skelton, and Ronald Reagan.

When Reagan stepped out of the closet, Dean asked the newly elected governor of California, if he had job in his administration. Reagan sadly announced to Dean "I'm sorry but we already have a Director of Alcohol and Beverage Control."

And when actor Michael Landon stepped out dressed as Joe Cartwright from the NBC western series BONANZA, he told Dean, "My brother Hoss wear as ten gallon hat and he's a pint short." With Hoss' hat in hand, Joe walked over to Dean's private bar and took a bottle of booze.

Johnny Carson of NBC's THE TONIGHT SHOW occasionally used the "behind the door" sketch on his own late night talk show.


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