If I were doing a Don Rickles impression of the death of Don Rickles it would be something like… that guy was still alive?!
The joke would fall flat because, well, I’m not Don Rickles, and there are some things only Don Rickes can get away with saying.
Don Rickles passed away yesterday at the age of 90, another member gone from Team 1926, that set of nonagenarians who did their respective jobs waayyy longer than anyone thought they would. (See “Royal Birthday” for a full description.) Rickles was still acting and performing until very recently, among other things lending his voice known to a new generation as Mr. Potato Head from the Toy Story series.
There are many great Don Rickles moments on TV and film, and some of the best were the stories he told over and over. Like the one about Frank Sinatra.
Frank Sinatra actually saved my life once. One night these guys were beating me up in an alley… Frank Sinatra comes by and tells the guys, “All right, that’s enough.”
Or when he would secretly tell Sinatra to come to his table to impress his date, then hit him with: Stop bothering me, Frank! Can’t you see I’m busy?
You better be Don Rickles to get away with that one!
Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Rickles.