Don Rickles

Donald Jay "Don" Rickles Donald Jay “Don” Rickles (born May 8, 1926) is an American comedian and actor. A frequent guest on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Rickles has acted in comedic and dramatic roles, but is best known as an insult comic. However, unlike many insult comics who only find short-lived success, Rickles has enjoyed a sustained career in insult performance.
Rickles has been married for over 43 years to his wife, Barbara, who is from Philadelphia. They have a daughter, Mindy, a son, Larry, and two grandchildren, Ethan and Harrison Mann. According to Rickles’ memoir, his grandchildren are much more impressed by his having played “Mr. Potato Head” than by any of his other career achievements. In 2008, Rickles won two Emmy awards, beating out a number of notable comics, including Stephen Colbert. To this he said, “Stephen Colbert’s a funny man, but he’s too young. He has got plenty of time to win awards, but this may be my last year and I think that I made it count. On second thought it was probably just a mercy award for an old man.”
Rickles is a life-long Democrat. However, he performed at the inaugurationsDon Rickles of Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush with his friend Frank Sinatra.
Rickles considers comedian Bob Newhart to be his best friend. In fact, if one were to drop in at Bob’s house, the doormat reads, “The Newharts…The Rickles’ best friends.” Rickles, Newhart, and their two wives often vacation together. Rickles and Newhart appeared together on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on January 24, 2005, the Monday following Johnny Carson’s death, reminiscing about their many guest appearances on Carson’s show, including footage of the infamous “cigarette box incident”.(see CPO Sharkey)
Rickles also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on March 17, 2009, with Regis Philbin who stalked him in search of an interview and later was part of an act with him.
In early 2009, Rickles met Kathy Griffin’s mother, Maggie, to fulfill one item on Maggie’s “bucket list”. The episode aired on July 6, 2009.
When asked by an interviewer if he ever worried that his insult comedy might ever become too offensive, Rickles replied, “You know, every night when I go out on stage to do my comedy routines, there’s always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I’m always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I’m NOT going to offend!”