Kimmel on Rickles on Kimmel
Don Rickles passed away yesterday at age 90. There was a period when I found his humor pretty sharp and funny, and looked forward to his appearances on talk shows or variety shows, though honestly after maybe a decade (not a bad run, though short compared to the many decades that followed) it struck me as repetitious and flat, and his speech basically about how we're all the same and I kid because I love a bit fatuous. If your job is insulting people, then trying to soften things at the end with a wink and a hug tends to diminish the point and joke. Still, he had a long career which is admirable, and still would get across some good lines, which delivering enjoyable performances, notably as 'Mr. Potato Head' in the Toy Story movies.
Jimmy Kimmel was an especially huge fan of Rickles and had him as a guest on his show 17 times, and apparently built up a close relationship. When he delivered his tribute at the start of his show last night, such things -- when described as emotional -- can dance on the fine line between meaningful and awkward. But what Kimmel said was quite touching and indeed lovingly emotional, with some personal remembrances that were often funny. And included a trove of clips from Rickles' appearances on the show.
Here's the 12-minute presentation.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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