Don Rickles has died. I pray that his tribe increases.
Mr. Comedy was so refreshingly anti-politically correct (PC). We need that, desperately.
If he were a budding comedian in this day and age, his career would have died after one day on the stage. Imagine the SJWs crawling all over the stage and pushing this doddering grandpa off… for good!
Rickles knew how to rib everyone and touch the hot-button issues. But he wasn’t vulgar or mean-spirited. He wasn’t a jerk.
Here were some of his best lines:
On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: “You’re Chinese? That’s what they all say now that the war’s over!”
“I get nothing, and he gets a cookie.” That was a favorite (From Kelly’s Heroes).
As a guest on the Howard Stern Show, when Stern asked “What would you say was the lowest point in your career?” Rickles’ response? “Being on this show now!”
By the way, throughout the whole taping, Howard Stern stood. There is no greater honor than for an interviewer to stand while you sit. And Rickles deserved it.
But this line is also legendary:
“Who broke my cigarette case?”
Ok, the last one wasn’t from Don Rickles, but Johnny Carson, and it was the day after Rickles took over the Tonight Show while Carson was out. The next day, when the Tonight Show Host found out, Carson refused to take the destruction of his cigarette case sitting down, but marched over to the next TV studio down on the NBC lot and broke up the show. Funny stuff! Can you imagine that kind of impromptu clowning around today?
Don Rickles caused trouble, and he had no problem getting in trouble, either. He laughed and mocked other people, but he was the clown getting clowned on, too.
And now he has passed on. A lot of celebrates are dying off. The loss of so many stars worried so many last year, that Betty White fans started a GoFundMe to make sure that she stayed alive through 2016!
But for Rickles, why would anyone need to make sure he stayed alive? There’s something about comedians who can make anyone laugh, young or old, and keep doing so well into their later years. Rodney Dangerfield couldn’t do that. The “No Respect” routine can’t carry a comic forever. In his later years, Rodney got bitter, high on pot, and then flamed out.
But Rickles, this guy remained a live wire. I wonder how he will feel when he finds out that he’s dead!
What was it about Don Rickles that I really liked?
He was not offensive.
That’s right. For a comedian who ran on a persona of constantly insulting people, he never really hurt people’s feelings. We all knew what a great guy he was. He was not mean, hateful, or bitter. Bitter, blue humor dominates the shtick of hacks like Bill Maher and David Letterman. Bill Maher is a cable show also-ran at this point, and Letterman has retired—nobody misses him.
But he wasn’t an annoying wannabe like Red Skelton, who was just too nice.
Rickles was the warmest grouch you could ever meet. His whole routine revolved around an old, bald Jewish schmuck out to grouch at anyone who didn’t look like him.
Another one of Rickles’ great lines: “You know, every night when I go out on stage, there's always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I'm always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I'm not going to offend!”
But that’s the thing. His humor never really offended anyone.
Why was that? Because even though he was “attacking others”, we were really laughing at him.
There was a real charm to this kind of stand-up comedy.
He was making fun of us—but he was ultimately making fun of himself.
I mean, would anyone really take the outrageous things he had said seriously? The one-liners were so outrageous, but also inherently backward, like the crack about the Asian guy. He told that joke in the early 2000s. People got the context, but also could hear it and see a guy who is so out of touch with the common times, that it’s funny
He jibed at us, we laughed at him—but we all ended up laughing together.
Now that’s really good comedy.
Jay Leno followed that kind of tradition, I think, and that’s why I was sad to see him go, too—from television, that is.
What a sad day for this country. Rickles’ ticklish brand of Anti-PC insult comedy has passed away, too, and what do we have left? Angry comedians who just stab at everyone and don’t care whether you laugh or not. Bill Maher is particularly unfunny, not just because he’s a liberal, but a brazen liar who thinks that he is telling the truth. A bitter fraud, to say the least. Any Schumer is ugly, both inside and outside, and continues playing her slattern routine to no effect.
They are vulgar, not edgy, and they give off a hateful veneer that you the audience are a bunch of patsies. And who can forget Wanda Sykes going after Trump one evening in a Boston theater? She got booed big time. Why? Because she was attacking a man who spoke for many in America. Remember, Rickles would mock you and me, but really he gave us a reason to laugh at him.
I wish he had lasted a few more years. The PC cult has overwhelmed us, and we are only beginning to fight back. As far as I know, Jerry Seinfeld, another great comedian with a different worldview and comedic bent, admitted that he would never do colleges again.
A Don Rickles college tour would have been just the thing to cap off a long and successful career for a comedian who knew how to make us laugh—both at himself and with himself.
RIP Don Rickles—you win a cookie!