Don Rickles

Rest In Peace: Don Rickles (1926 – 2017)

Don Rickles was a legendary entertainer. Furthermore he earned that title through his years of incredibly cutting humor. As well as receiving the moniker of ‘Mr. Warmth’, which was bestowed on him by Johnny Carson in fact. Don Rickles owed his big break in TV thanks to Carson, not that you would see him acting thankful. No, I would add that it caused him to lean in with the insults even more. To say nothing of taking shots at his special guests, like Frank Sinatra.

[Via] Johnny Carson

I think it is quite important to understand that Don Rickles never actually meant what he said. It was all part of the act. Beyond a life of stand up comedy, Rickles of course worked in film and television. Appearing in everything from The Twilight Zone to Innocent Blood. While he might have best been known in his later years as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story animated films and shorts. I remember the very first time I was introduced to him, thanks to a showing at the 62 Drive-In. It was in 1970’s Kelly’s Heroes as the sarcastic supply Sgt. Crapgame!

[Via] Movieclips Trailer Vault

I feel that if you really want to see Don Rickles at the top of his game however. You need only take a look at his appearances on the popular The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. For example, I think you will enjoy how he handles the then Governor Ronald Regan.

[Via] John W. Hardin

On the other hand, Don Rickles was also known to momentarily go after his fellow roasters, temporarily letting the roastee off the hook. Remember I did say temporarily as is proven in this clip from the roast for Jerry Lewis.

[Via] Farmer Jon

The world is a bit sadder for the loss of Don Rickles, friends. Of course we hockey pucks have a silver lining. And that is Rickles certainly has left us with an impressive legacy. 62 years of solid performances and laughs.
Don Rickles

One of my favorite TV appearances by Don Rickles was his role in the Tales from the Crypt episode entitled The Ventriloquist’s Dummy. The perfect blend of horror as well as humor.



How to Make Funny Home Videos with Count Floyd

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Count Floyd, as portrayed by Joe Flaherty on the comedy sketch show SCTV, was a host of the low budget television show Monster Chiller Horror Theater. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of SCTV as a kid, I watched enough of it to know who people like Count Floyd and Bob and Doug McKenzie.

In 1990, Flaherty as Count Floyd released this home video on VHS, “How to Make Funny Home Videos” (presumably to cash in on people’s desire to get their videos on America’s Funniest Home Videos). Throughout the 30 minute video, viewers and budding filmmakers learn about angles and lighting and the basics of video editing (as much as you can do with only a pause button, I suppose).

I bought this VHS tape from Big Lots back when they first moved into my town in the early 90s. I can’t remember what I paid for it, but I remember it wasn’t much.

I could not find the entire video out there, but here is a 90 second clip someone uploaded to Youtube.

If you hurry, there are two copies left on Amazon. Just watch out for vampires and bad punchlines along the way!

Teaching your kid to tell the time with Dave Allen

Dave Allen

I grew up heavily influenced by the comedy enjoyed by my father. As I reached 14, he introduced me to the joys of veteran comedian Dave Allen and the thrills of stand-up.

Until then I was mostly enjoying Monty Python’s surreal comedy and the many sitcoms to be found on British TV but I hadn’t really seen any stand-up before and Dave Allen was a fantastic introduction! Here he is teaching his child to read a clock.

I would later learn that his particular brand of comedy is referred to as ‘alternative’, a phrase I’ve never really understood when it comes to categorizing comedy. Another of my favourite sketches from the Irish man is this Adam and Eve story.

As ever, the wonderful world of Youtube means you can find hundreds of videos from the great man so if you’re still laughing about the first video, you should definitely go and hunt down some more clips!

Saturday the 14ths

So my Friday the 13th plans didn’t work out so well. The book didn’t come out until too late and I fell asleep halfway through the second movie. The special weekend is ruined. Or is it? Friday the 13th may be over, but there is still Saturday the 14th.

Saturday the 14th was a short series of comedy horror movies that were making the rounds on video when I was in school. I didn’t see them for quite a while, and so I somehow got the idea that they were not only straight horror but even more terrifying than Friday the 13th. That turned out not to be the case. They are not good horror. They are not even good comedy. They are more like silly. But they do have some recognizable faces, including Jason Presson of Explorers fame and My Favorite Martian‘s Ray Walston. They also have a few good gags. My favorite is when Jason Presson tries to stop the evil coming up through a crack in his basement floor with quick dry cement. He holds the bucket of cement above the crack and tells it that he has spent his whole allowance on this cement and he is going to stop the evil once and for all and them dumps the bucket on the crack, only for an already-dried, bucket-shaped block to fall out and bounce off the crack.

What can I say? It’s my kind of humor. If it’s yours as well, and if you want to observe this special day in a special way, you may want to check these films out.