Don Rickles

Posted October 1, 2008 in

Don Rickles is the legendary insult comic, the roast funnyman, the Jewish ham, the one they ironically tabbed “Mr. Warmth” because, well, nobody feels comfortable when he enters the room, but everyone laughs (and laughs and laughs) at audacious things that are coming out of his mouth. For 50 years he’s been a smiling showman with some gnarly (yet entirely benevolent) fangs. Classic Rickles, on his long-time friend Frank Sinatra: “When you enter a room you have to kiss his ring. I don’t mind, but he has it in his back pocket.” He was also known as “The Merchant of Venom,” because he never holds back what’s on his mind.


The moon-faced octogenarian can still fill a room in Vegas, and bring the house down with his stand-up. With a sordidly quick wit, the spry Rickles still emulates old people gagging and choking and babbling without seeming all that old; he can insult every nationality, religion, gender and political affiliation in a single line. But it’s funny, and that’s what makes his niche. Somehow, too, it’s refreshing. Mr. Warmth is one of a kind.


Rickles has inspired countless comics such as Robin Williams and Jimmy Kimmel, has hung with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack (performing with Frank at Ronald Reagan’s Second Inaugural Ball), is a regular face at roasts, has starred in movies (who can forget Kelly’s Heroes?), television shows (C.P.O. Sharkey), has provided his voice in animated movies (Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story) and documentaries (he won an Primetime Emmy for Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project). Rickles brings is ornery self to San Manuel tonight, and it’s worth the price of admission to, if nothing else, get a hilarious look at one of the crankiest originals. (George Donovan)


Don Rickles with special guest Frank Stallone at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, 777 San Manuel Blvd., Highland, (800) 359-2464. Doors at 6:30PM. Tickets $25–$45.



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