Foster Brooks Was America’s Most Loveable Drunk
Foster Brooks was a regular on the ‘Dean Martin Roast’s’. That was back in a different time. It was a time that we could all laugh at the ‘drunk’, whether it be Foster Brooks or Otis Campbell on ‘The Andy Griffith Show‘.
Watching Foster Brooks at the time, I just thought he was….well, funny! But watching him now, I can appreciate the incredible timing, the perfectly placed stutter’s, burps, looks in his eyes…it all added up to a professional who would have the crowd (and the other star’s on the stage) in the palm of his hand.
So who was this Foster Brooks?
Coming out of Louisville, Kentucky, Foster started in radio and in fact had a beautiful singing voice. He was ‘discovered’ by Perry Como in 1969 and that was the major career break he needed.
It was in the 1970’s that he became the ‘loveable lush’ and appeared several times on The Dean Martin Show as well as the above referenced Roast’s. He also appeared in movies, as well as several guest spot’s on various television show’s (He had a recurring role on ‘Mork & Mindy‘ as Mindy’s boss).
By the 1980’s America’s view’s on excessive drinking had changed. It wasn’t all that funny anymore. Foster essentially moved away from his drinking character and played what might be called straight roles. And he displayed his beautiful baritone singing voice.
So was Foster Brooks, in reality, a drunk?
Well, apparently he did have his battles with alcohol as a young man and drew upon that for his act. But he rarely drank during his ‘drunk act’ years. In other words, Foster Brooks was a professional, and mighty good at it.
So whatever happened to Foster Brooks?
Seen now as a legend in comedy and America’s original ‘Fake’ drunk, Foster passed away in December of 2001 at the age of 89.