I was just telling my friend Jim the other day how much I didn't like Don Rickles when I was a little girl.
"Mommy, he's mean," I remember saying to my Mother as she and my Father consistently cracked up at his jokes.
I didn't understand. How could some nice man like Johnny Carson keep asking back this old meanie pants Don Rickles to be a featured guest on his variety show?
And it wasn't just Johnny. It seemed like everywhere I looked on television as a kid, there was Don Rickles making some guest appearance. Sonny and Cher, GIlligan's Island, I Dream of Jeanie -- and ALWAYS on Hollywood Squares. Shoot, I think he even made trips to The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Come to find out, the guy even had his OWN television show at one point!
What in the world is going on here?" I thought as a wee one, "He's just so rude, insulting everyone all the time! Why does everyone like him so much?"
Little girl hmpf.
But then, I got a little older. Hopefully, a little wiser -- and learned a little somethin' somethin' about that very important tactic in the English language know as SARCASM.
And by the time I'd managed to figure out my way around a phrase or two, I started thinking of Don Rickles as a genius. Not only were his jabs clean but they were equally "offensive" across the board and never too far over the line.
The guy was the KING of satirical wit. Or at least, as regal as once could hope from such a small, daft baldy out of Queens.
See what I did there?
Who'da ever thunk that the likes of me would mourn that rotten bum when he passed away a few years ago? But I sure did, along with thousands and thousand of others, I'd expect.
Boy could we use a few more of him in comedy today. #RIPDonRickles #Sarcasm #CleanHumor
P.S. Shout out to my brand new great-nephew Spencer! Welcome to the world, little buddy!!!