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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Andre, from Black Nerd Comedy, gives his humorous 2 cents on the upcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch reboot (should be interesting). He then finishes up with a great nichey top 5 “Cartoon Remakes as Superheroes”. Fan of The Robonic Stooges? Enjoy…