We were taping the first show. Before we
were on two minutes, Dean pulled out a pack of Luckies from his
inside jacket pocket, lit one, and began smoking as we went on with
the program. In radio you worked with scripts in your hands and
read the material, so your eyes were constantly on the pages. Unbeknownst
to both Dean and me, the clients' booth went bonkers at the sight
of a pack of Luckies!
Following the show the sponsors had a meeting with the head of
NBC, warning them that NBC could lose them as sponsors if they didn't
get Dean's head on right (Cool- Hand Luke syndrome).
When Dean heard about the child-like nonsense of the folks at Chesterfield,
we both agreed it was sheer nonsense since the radio studio only
held about 250 people, tops. How could Dean's smoking Luckies hurt
a multi-billion-dollar company? So, instead of recognizing that
a mere 250 people all thought it was a joke in the first place and
that it wasn't doing anyone any real harm, Chesterfield demanded
that Dean not smoke unless it was their product - Chesterfield.
Upon hearing the ultimatum Dean bought a new pack of Chesterfield's
and a new pack of Luckies. He then dumped the Chesterfield cigarettes
in the waste basket (but kept the package) and loaded it with all
the Lucky cigarettes, and off we went to do the second Martin and
Lewis radio show!
The show was great! Dean smoked. The sponsors were happy. NBC was
happy. Dean even held the Chesterfield package (with the Lucky cigarettes
inside) and showed it to the sponsors in the clients' booth, and
they applauded. NBC was thrilled! The sponsors and their families
were thrilled! The orchestra was thrilled. (They almost lost 39
weeks of work.) Everybody was happy. All the ultimatums stopped,
and for the next 39 weeks Dean smoked Luckies in a Chesterfield
package, and no one was ever the wiser!