By THE ENTHUSIAST
Pour Some Sugar On Me
"It’s A Marshmallow World" isn’t just the most saccharine Christmas song of all time. It’s the most saccharine song of all time, period, with the possible exception of "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (I’ve Got Love In My Tummy)." And, hey, let’s be honest: sometimes a double dose of treacle is just what you need in the bleak midwinter.
Dean Martin’s performance of "It’s A Marshmallow World" on The Dean Martin Show in 1968, accompanied by two dancers in Santa-style mini-dresses, is surely definitive. The segment – and indeed the whole of the show – is so blithely shambolic that we can’t help but wonder if Dino really is in earnest when he looks at the two women beside him and asks, "Where did they come from?" Apparently the cameraman was wondering the same thing; before long he pushes in to a close-up, and when the song is over Dino’s alone on screen. It may be a Marshmallow World, but it’s Dino’s stage, capeesh?
Look At That Face!
If you do track down the 1968 Dean Martin Show Christmas Special, by the way, here’s a pro tip: watch the charming "transforming Dino into Santa" segment that opens the show as a chorus sings "Look At That Face" from The Roar Of The Greasepaint, The Smell Of The Crowd by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Then, the moment that Dino stands up to join the dancing Santas for the number that follows, switch over to Netflix and watch A Prince For Christmas instead. I’m just sayin’.
Back In The New York Groove
"It’s A Marshmallow World" was written by Brill Building songsmiths Carl Sigman and Peter DeRose, quite possibly the only two people who have ever stood on Broadway and 49th Street in a snowstorm and thought to themselves "Oh, it’s a yum-yummy world made for sweethearts’" instead of "I’m never going to get a cab in this weather, am I?"
I Wait For It The Whole Year Round
It would take a very grinchy Grinch indeed not to drift into a spun-sugar fugue state upon hearing the song’s opening lines:
It's a marshmallow world in the winter When the snow comes to cover the ground It's time for play, it's a whipped cream day I wait for it the whole year 'round
Well played, Sigman and DeRose. The Enthusiast is raising a marshmallow martini your way even now.
Number three in a series.
3 December 2020
The Enthusiast (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the pen name of critic Michael Collins. He reports back only on what’s good, never what’s bad. He is currently imbued with the holiday spirit.