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.



Jerry Lewis Celebrates the Release of The Nutty Professor 50th Anniversary Collectors Edition at the World Famous Friar’s Club

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Hey check this out! The fine folks over at Warner Bros Home Entertainment clued the ol’ Ouija Board Kid in on an event that recently took place to celebrate the release of The Nutty Professor on Blu-ray (which I review right here)! Quick, breathe in the lush vapors of the mystic steam issuing from the river PR’naxx to learn more:

Warner Bros. and Jerry Lewis celebrated the 50th Anniversary of The Nutty Professor this past week in New York. Jerry Lewis, the consummate entertainer, world-renowned humanitarian, cultural icon and motion-picture innovator was celebrated in an entertaining laugh-filled tribute by his friends and peers. In attendance were Jerry Lewis, Brett Ratner, Larry King, Richard Belzer, Kerry Keagan, Danny Aiello, Ed Norton, Russell Simmons, Rosario Dawson, Dominic Chianese, Ron Raines and more.

Blu-ray Review: The Nutty Professor 50th Anniversary Collectors Edition!

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So when I got my latest review assignment here at the ol’ Retroist, The Nutty Professor 50th Anniversary Blu-ray, I have to admit I thought it may be an odd fit for a groovy ghoul like myself seeing as how it was a zany comedy and all and I’m more a member of the horror hound pack, but the more I thought about things, the more I realized how much having the ol’ Ouija Board Kid review this title made a perfect kind of sense.

First of all, the tale of the Nutty Professor is firmly entrenched in a solid, time tested formula (pun intended); the classic shock story of Jeckyll and Hyde (a personel favorite o’ mine). But while R.L. Stevenson dealt with a somber exploration of the darkest side of our hidden psyches, Jerry Lewis opts instead to cover the same material with broad comedic strokes in this film.

For those that are new to The Nutty Professor: Lewis essays the role of quintessential nerd Julius Kelp, a chemistry professor who is far from a hit with the ladies, his class and the faculty of the school (especially with his knack for blowin’ things sky high with his experiments). So before you can say “really freakin’ bad idea”, ol’ Kelpy has performed experiments on his own chemistry and become the ultra-obnoxious (yet infinitely awesome) Buddy Love! Love is everything Kelp was not; a smooth swinging cat that’s the hit of the campus (and a hell of a piano player to boot). Of course Kelp has to wrestle with the fact that he really thinks the attention Love gets is wizard, but he is really being untrue to himself; the classic dichotomy echoed in works as varied as Teen Wolf to that episode of Silver Spoons where the Ricker turns punk to impress some hotties.

Now I hear you say “Daniel XIII, we get the fact that since the film is a kind of parody of a classic horror yarn that is seems fitting that you provide the review here, but what sort of nostalgic ties does it hold to your misbegotten youth?” Well, since I said you asked, here goes; it seems almost without fail that before the creature features began on the local stations in my neck o’ the woods, the program directors would slot a comedy feature…and 9 times outta 10 it was one of Lewis’ films. I can’t tell you the number of times I watched not only The Nutty Professor, but also Cinderfella (more on that in a bit), Errand Boy (ditto) and the Bellboy before I dove into more frightful fare. And here’s the thing; I became a fan of good ol’ Jokin’ Jerry because of that fact! So seeing this feature again really brought back those warm and fuzzies, and for that fact alone I loved this release!

Now I realize you may not have the history with this film that I have (hell, you may not even be a Jeckyll and Hyde fan), but the extras alone are worth the price of admission (especially if you are any kind of student of film history), as you not only get The Nutty Professor (lookin’ all vibrant like in hi-def Blu-ray resplendence), but also Cinderfella and the Errand Boy (on DVD), not to mention the 45 bazillion* extra features such as (but not limited to); commentary tracks on all 3 features by Lewis, “making of “ documentaries, bloopers, outtakes, screen tests…hell they even throw in a CD of prank phone calls by Loony Lewis (near impossible to pull off in this day and age)!!!

So there you have it my fiends, this release gets ol’ Daniel XIII ‘s rollickin’ recommendation! So head on over to here and pick this thing up today!!!

*o.k. that number may be a slight exaggeration, but believe me o’ creepies, this thing is the Turducken of Blu-rays…layer after layer of pure awesomeness!

jerry lewis show

A Critical Look at the History of Late Night

With all the late night TV shenanigans that have been going on lately, I have seen a bunch of great pieces on the web and in print about this history of late night TV. My favorite online work is this piece from WGMU’s Beware of the Blog, called “The Late Night Distemper of Our Times”, that takes a hard look at the many bad decisions that went on in the late 1950s on networks trying to tinker around with winning formulas in order to find more “win”. I especially enjoy the part about the Jerry Lewis Show, which just might be the Heaven’s Gate of talk shows. Great stuff.

jerry lewis show

The Late Night Distemper of Our Times [@] Beware of the Blog