Don Rickles, the stand-up comic, who became famous by insulting his audience, has died of kidney failure at his LA home at the age of 90.
(Rickles in 2007 / Richard Drew / Associated Press)
For over half-a-century, on stages in nightclubs, casinos, concert halls and television, Rickles made outrageous comments about people’s looks, their ethnicity, spouses, sexual orientation, jobs or anything he could think of.
And he did not discriminate, taking shots at the biggest names in show business – Frank Sinatra was a favourite target – as well as the average paying customer.
Comedian Bob Newhart once said of Rickles, ”whatever he sees, he says. And it’s what we all think, but we’re too civilized to say.”
Rickles had a theory for his success.
”I’m the guy at the Christmas party who makes fun of the boss on Friday night and still has his job on Monday morning.”