Don Rickles Honored by Comedy A-Listers in New Spike TV Roast

Image: Don Rickles Honored by Comedy A-Listers in New Spike TV Roast

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 02:17 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Don Rickles, the comedy legend known as the king of insults, got a taste of his own medicine earlier this month in a 90-minute special that will air on Spike TV Wednesday.

"One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute," which airs at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday, features everyone from Jerry Seinfeld and Tina Fey to director Martin Scorsese and Rickles' longtime best friend Bob Newhart, according to the New York Daily News. The show was recorded at Harlem's Apollo Theater.

In traditional Rickles style, the event was a bit of a roast. Like when Fey playfully mourned to gal pal Amy Poehler that it was a shame the legendary comedian couldn't make it to the tribute.

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"Tina, he is here," Poehler said, gesturing to the front row, to which Fey responded, "Jesus. I thought that was somebody’s purse."

"We wanted to honor your memory, Don, so here we are," Scorsese later said, according to The Associated Press. "Though, if I'd been directing this, I don't think I would have gone for the open casket."

The airing of the show will feature clips of some of Rickles' most memorable performances as he zinged everyone, including Johnny Carson, Clint Eastwood, Frank Sinatra, the Rev. Billy Graham, and President Ronald Reagan. The AP reported that Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Kimmel, and Newhart all contributed video tributes.

At 88, Rickles got the chance to show he could still dish it out.

"I'm so thrilled as I look around the room that I'm the biggest name here," he quipped.

Viacom Entertainment Group executive producer Casey Patterson told Spike TV that Rickles touched a lot of lives over the years with his humor.

"We're thrilled that David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Robert De Niro, and so many more will be coming out to entertain and celebrate our hero — Don Rickles," said Patterson, who also serves as executive vice president of event production & talent development at Viacom. "The genius of Rickles is in the danger — nobody is safe, and what you can expect is a night of comedy from these superstars worthy of a legend. It truly will be 'One Night Only.'"

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