8 years ago

“When you enter a room, you have to kiss his ring. I don’t mind, but he has it in his back pocket.”

Said the brilliant “No one is safe” and “the father of insult comedy” American stand-up comedic genius and actor Don Rickles about his close friend Frank Sinatra. Rickles, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and Jonathan Winters are considered the best American comedians of the last century. Roger Ebert once said: “the greatest single influence on modern American culture has been Don Rickles.” As a comedian pitting yourself against your audience, performing an act that can result in catastrophe, can only be done by a few. And it: “takes the three Ts — talent, timing and testicles.” If you’re unfamiliar with Don Rickles you’re in for a treat! Rickles is a national American comedic ‘pop culture’ treasure. Rickles always would take the stage with the Spanish matador song: "La Virgen de la Macarena,” because, “I always pictured myself facing the audience as the matador”, said Rickles. On May 28th 2014 Spike TV aired the "One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles” for his 88th birthday, “why are we honoring a man who has spent 55 years insulting all of us?” says Jerry Seinfeld in the opening. The Tribute featured luminaries from the world of comedy, television and the silver screen including David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Kimmel, John Stamos, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and many more. Have a look at his brilliant 90-minute special filmed at a completely redecorated Apollo Theater in the New York City borough of Manhattan: Harlem – FULL SPECIAL – YOUTUBE. Also recommend getting: "What a terrific book. Honest, funny, down-to-earth. A helluva read, “ said Larry King – David Ritz” 2008 Rickles’ Book: A Memoir Paperback” (ORDER), John Landis’ 2007 ‘Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project’ (Trailer1) (ORDER DVD) (HULU) documentary. To get to know his work have a look at this his is a compilation of hilarious routines performed – YOUTUBE 

My personal favourite Don Rickles moments in history: 

  • The Dean Martin Roasts – Don Rickles – YOUTUBE
  • Don Rickles on "Larry King Now” – YOUTUBE 
  • 2007 on PBS Charlie Rose – YOUTUBE 
  • Rickles to President Reagan at his Second Inauguration – “I must tell you, Mr. President, it’s a big treat coming out here all the way from California for this kind of money.”YOUTUBE 
  • Frank Sinatra is Surprised by Don Rickles on Johnny Carson’s Show – YOUTUBE. 
  • The Howard Stern Show – Interview with Don Rickles YOUTUBE 
  • Don Rickles on His Hurt Leg – Jimmy Kimmel – YOUTUBE 
  • A classic Johnny Carson moment (1976) was when he came back from vacation and his guest host, Don Rickles, had broken his cigarette boxYOUTUBE 
  • Don Rickles on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2008 – DailyShow 
  • Don Rickles Roasts Clint Eastwood at AFI Awards – YOUTUBE 
  • Don Rickles Salutes Martin Scorsese at the AFI Life Achievement Award – YOUTUBE 
  • Don Rickles on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2008 – 
  • Johnny Carson and Don Rickles were thick as thieves during Carson’s Tonight Show tenure, with Carson credited with giving Rickles his “Mr. Warmth” nickname.- The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson – YOUTUBE 
  • “You’ll Never Play the Copa” Comediansincarsgettingcoffee 
  • Aug 4, 2015: Don Rickles Heckles Jimmy Fallon and The Roots – YOUTUBE (Full Episode). Don Rickles Imitates Jimmy’s Thank You Notes YOUTUBE
  • Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival 2014 – YOUTUBE
  • Mr. Warmth visits substituting host (and good friend) Frank Sinatra in this clip from the tonight show in 1977. Don spills his hilarious wit onto guests George Burns, Angie Dickinson and Carrol O’Connor – YOUTUBE 
  • Kathy Griffin and Don Rickles onstage at the 60th Primetime Emmy® Awards – YOUTUBE 
  • Don Rickles Roasts Frank Sinatra  – YOUTUBE  

For more information and photo highlights from the groundbreaking career of Don Rickles, fans can go to the event site at onenightonly.spike.com and DonRickles.com. Photo Credit/Courtesy of Spike TV/Don Mischer.