rip. Don Rickles, comedian and master of the clean slam, has died at 90

It is 2017 and we have lost another icon of the 60s. Don Rickles has died.
The funny comedian had no issue of putting anyone on blast as the kids say today. According to the New York Times: “For more than half a century, on nightclub stages, in concert halls and on television, Mr. Rickles made outrageously derisive comments about people’s looks, their ethnicity, their spouses, their sexual orientation, their jobs or anything else he could think of. He didn’t discriminate: His incendiary unpleasantries were aimed at the biggest stars in show business (Frank Sinatra was a favorite target) and at ordinary paying customers.
His rise to national prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s roughly coincided with the success of “All in the Family,” the groundbreaking situation comedy whose protagonist, Archie Bunker, was an outspoken bigot” (New York Times, 2017.)
The difference between Archie and Mr. Riggles is that Archie followed a script and as the times put it Mr. Riggles “never needed a script and was always in charge” (New York Times, 2017.)
Mr. Riggles at one point found out that some of his viewers were german. He said:
“Forty million Jews in this country, and I got four Nazis sitting here in front waiting for the rally to start. He said that America needed Italians “to keep the cops busy” and blacks “so we can have cotton in the drugstore,” and that “Asians are nice people, but they burn a lot of shirts. While those statements would seem crass today the targets wouldn’t feel a mark.
Per the Times: Sidney Poitier was said to have once been offended by Mr. Rickles’s racial jokes. But in “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project,” a 2007 documentary directed by John Landis, Mr. Poitier sang Mr. Rickles’s praises.
Recalling the first time he saw Mr. Rickles perform, Mr. Poitier said: “He was explosive. He was impactful. He was funny. I mean, outrageously funny” (new york times, 2017.)


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