Patton Oswalt joked on Twitter: “In lieu of flowers, Don Rickles’ family has requested that people drop their trousers and fire a rocket”. We became friends over the years and I had the honor of being roasted by him a couple of times – sometimes when I didn’t expect it.
Prior to his passing, he still made late night TV appearances, including many on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Kimmel continued, “He was 90 years old”.
A statement to ABC News by his publicist says Rickles died Thursday morning from kidney failure. They ate dinner together, Rickles gave him advice, and Kimmel saved every note Rickles sent him-many of them as warm and insulting as his act.
In 2005, he appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno shortly after Carson’s death to recall and remember the many appearances of internationally renowned celebrities on Carson’s show and the impact the talk-show had on American popular culture.
Don then added: “Frank, believe me, I’m telling you this as a friend: Your voice is gone”.
– Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett)RIP Don Rickles.
Seth Meyers also honored Rickles, “one of the all-time greats”, on Late Night, where the host again shared his often-told story about the comedian.
“Mr. Warmth”, as he was ironically called, built his persona on hurling quick-witted insults – a shtick he developed in comedy clubs over the years before meeting Frank Sinatra, who helped propelled his career forward. “I felt like a made man”.
Meyers honored the comedian with a story he’s before: When he introduced himself to Rickles at a party, as a cast member of Saturday Night Live.
“He was a amusing guy; I know that’s not a news flash. There’s nothing better than getting burned by Don Rickles”. “But there’s nothing better than comedian funerals, because everyone tells the best jokes”.
After a career of acerbic put-downs, the comic’s final tweet last month was poignantly warm as he paid tribute to his beloved wife Barbara on their wedding anniversary.
Luckily for Rickles, the line amused Sinatra, who became one of his biggest boosters and took to calling the short, bald Rickles “Bullethead”. “I feel lucky for the times I was ever in his orbit”, Corden wrote. Our thoughts and prayers go out his family’.
I was thrilled to interview/be insulted non-stop by the legendary Don Rickles.