Goodbye And Thank You “Mr. Warmth” Don Rickles
I can see it now. Heaven’s gates open up, Don Rickles walks in, his classic entrance theme kicks in and there before him is a standing ovation. The first to greet Mr. Rickles with open arms and a big smile – Frank Sinatra. Rickles, with a sour grin, looks at Sinatra and says, “Frank, do you mind? I’m busy here.”
When I read the news of Rickles' passing on April 6th I immediately thought of my Dad. It must have been about 15 years ago that my Dad took me out to lunch and we started talking about Don Rickles. Not long after Dad went through his vinyl collection and gave me two of Rickles' comedy albums from the late 60s to listen to. One was "Hello, Dummy!" from '68 and the other "Don Rickles Speaks!" from '69. From that point on I was officially a Don Rickles fan and to this day he is THE funniest comedian I've ever seen or heard.
About ten years ago around my Dad's birthday I saw that Rickles was coming to The Foxwoods Grand Theater for a show and it was a birthday gift that just fell into my lap. I bought a pair of tickets, we went and had the time of our lives. At 80 years old Rickles was as good as ever lashing out at everyone within his eyesight. Dad and I had some great seats but unfortunately not close enough to be insulted by Mr. Rickles. You see when you get insulted by the great Don Rickles you have been "chosen".
When I visited my Dad at the nursing home last weekend I asked him if he heard the news. He did. I pulled out the laptop and decided to spend my entire visit watching Don Rickles videos on YouTube. The two of us laughed the whole way through and afterwards I realized a very important thing. Even though Don Rickles is no longer physically with us, he will be with us for as long as we're here through websites like YouTube. Having a bad day? Watch some Rickles on YouTube. Feeling stressed? Watch some Rickles on YouTube. It never fails.
So, on behalf of my Dad, I say to you Mr. Rickles wherever you are - Goodbye and thank you, sir, for all the insults, all the laughs and giving me one more reason to love hanging out with my Dad.