Don Rickles quote
Don Rickles ruled the strip as the king of the insult comics. A hard working but relatively unknown, Rickles made his name by going after the celebrities in the audience.
After insulting Frank Sinatra from the stage one night in a club in Miami and getting big laughs from both Sinatra and the crowd, Frank arranged for Don Rickles to play Vegas and encouraged big name stars to see him so they could be cannon fodder for the comic's sharp wit.
He appeared first on the 'Tonight' show with Johnny Carson in the mid-1960s and returned more than 100 times. Known as "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth" Dean Martin gave Rickles an entire segment of his weekly variety show one night. At that taping he eviscerate the stars in attendance and Don Rickles became a hot 'get' for other variety and late night TV shows. This raised his profile in Sin City where he quickly rose to the top of the casino headliners.
In the card playing capital of the world audiences, fresh from the gambling floor, loved this brash comic and always hoped there would be someone famous in the crowd.
The one area of his career where he was less successful was in starring his own sitcom. He tried many times including a show I liked very much, 1971's The Don Rickles Show wherein he played a married working guy with a daughter. The show co-starred Louise Sorel but it lasted only 13 weeks before ABC pulled the plug. Scoring in the world of roulette and blackjack proved far easier - and extremely lucrative.
Not that he didn't have long lasting success on TV, he remained a popular guest until his recent retirement, many remember his regular appearance on the 'Dean Martin Roasts' in the 70s & 80s.
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