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Don Rickles Dies: Entertainer Known for Insult Comedy was 90

Image: Don Rickles Dies: Entertainer Known for Insult Comedy was 90

Don Rickles (IPX/AP Photo)

By    |   Friday, 07 Apr 2017 10:09 AM

Don Rickles, who made a career out of insult comedy for six decades, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles from kidney failure at 90.

Rickles, a Manhattan native who served the Navy during World War II, worked the nightclub circuit in the 1950s but hit it big with his first appearance on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" in 1965, according to Variety.

Rickles' signature insult phrases of "dummy" and "hockey puck" catapulted his curmudgeon performance personality and helped him survive an up-and-down career that was affected by taste changes in comedy, Variety noted.

Rickles had successful guest starring appearances on television and was a favorite among the celebrity roasting circuit.

Entertainment Weekly wrote that Rickles balanced making fun of people while earning their love at the same time, resulting in his preferred nickname of "Mr. Warmth." He insulted the biggest names in Hollywood, from President Ronald Reagan to Bob Hope, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra.

"Having done 24 Dean Martin roasts, I know without a doubt that Don Rickles was the greatest comedian of all time," impressionist Rich Little told The Hollywood Reporter. "There were few, if any, that were quicker than Don. He didn't think of the next line he would use, he was already thinking of the line after that. There were many times on the roast that I literally fell out of my chair laughing. In private life, Don was a very nice man. There will never be another man like him."

Many talk show host and celebrities shared similar feeling in social media in honoring Rickles.

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Don Rickles, who made a career out of insult comedy for six decades, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles from kidney failure at 90.
don rickles, dies, comedian, insult
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2017-09-07
Friday, 07 Apr 2017 10:09 AM
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