Friday, April 7, 2017
When I was a kid back in the 1970s, Don Rickles was a frequent presence on TV, ranging from Bob Hope specials, Dean Martin celebrity roasts and appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Rickles was a dangerous man to have on TV with his machine gun delivery of barbs and insults. While Don may have been dangetous, he wasn’t a threat. For all the zingers he slung, he never seemed to operate from a place of hate or disrespect. By all accounts, beneath the tough, blustery exterior, Don Rickles was a warm and caring individual.
Which may explain why comic book legend Jack Kirby included Don Rickles in issues of his run on DC’s Jimmy Olsen comic. Outwardly, Jack had a tough guy demeanor but at heart, he was a sweetheart per everyone who knew the man. And the same could be said for Don Rickles.
I zinged Don on Twitter once. A few years back, Don posted a photo on Twitter, a picture of him on a TV special from the 1960s. Behind him were some beautiful showgirls, you know, the ones that are 85% legs. Anyway, I posted a comment: “Don, you are a national treasure but I gotta say: you’re blocking my view of the girls, you hockey puck!”
I would like to say that Don liked that Tweet or re-Tweeted it. Alas, no he disdn’t. But he didn’t unfollow me or have me blocked so I like to think he liked it.
At 90 years old, Don was still working, his mind as sharp and fast with a clever quip as ever. It’s nice to know that one can live a long life and go out while still good at what brings you joy. Rest in peace, Don Rickles, you hockey puck! You will be missed.
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