Another great Jewish comedian has passed on. Don Rickles died yesterday morning at the age of 90. As I read the various news stories about it yesterday, I really didn’t see one from Jewish news sources that I’d like to link to. The Forward remembered him in a brief article. But there was not much focus on his Jewish heritage.
The best read I saw about the life history Don Rickles was from his wiki page.
My parents enjoyed his variety show in the late 1960’s and I grew up listening to his comedy phonograph record “Hello Dummy” (mixed in with the Alan Sherman records) and enjoying his guest appearances in many repeats of 60’s sitcoms: The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Munsters, The Addams Family, The Mothers-in-Law, Gilligan’s Island, Get Smart, The Andy Griffith Show and I Dream of Jeannie. Yea, I really watched a lot of that stuff – television drek – it was beautiful.
My children don’t get a lot of TV like old sitcoms, but enjoyed Don Rickles as the character Mr. Potato Head (a plastic simulation of a kosher food item) in the Toy Story movies.
Pixar released the following tribute:
Early life history from Wiki:
Rickles was born Donald Jay Rickles in the New York City borough of Queens on May 8, 1926, to Max Rickles (1897–1953), who emigrated in 1903 with his parents Joseph and Frances Rickles (Richters) from Kaunas, Lithuania (then in the Russian Empire), and Etta (Feldman) Rickles (1901–1984), born in New York to immigrant parents from the Austrian Empire. His family was Jewish and spoke Yiddish at home. Rickles grew up in the Jackson Heights area.
Thank you, Don Rickles, for (at least) three generations of laughs and entertainment.
Update: April 8, 2017 9:10 pm