Last week the sad news came out that legendary comedian Don Rickles died from kidney failure at the age of 90. Rickles was a master of “insult comedy” and a frequent presence on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In fact, that show is how I learned about Rickles due to a memorable incident on the show.
As the story was told to me, one night Don Rickles hosted The Tonight Show in Carson’s place and during a particular joke he ended up breaking the cigarette box that had been on the host’s desk for years! Well he put it together the best he could and that seemed to be the end of that. But the next night when Johnny came back…he noticed that his cigarette box was broken. He wanted to know who did it and the audience told him. Well as it happened, Rickles was in the studio next door filming scenes for his tv show CPO Sharkey. Carson wanted an explanation for his broken cigarette box, so he grabbed a microphone and marched right on over to the other studio, to the shock of Rickles and the utter delight of the studio audience. What follows is just brilliant:
Outside of insult comedy, Rickles was also known as the voice of Mr. Potato-Head in Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
I can’t help but feel sad that we lost another comic legend, there really wasn’t anyone quite like Don Rickles. Rest in Peace.
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