The passing of Don Rickles Thursday punctured the comedy world. Several comedians and stars paid tribute to the king of the insult, including late night hosts who shared personal stories of the late 90-year-old.
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Before reminiscing about the voice of Toy Story's Mr. Potato Head with guest Adam Sandler, Kimmel delivered an emotional (albeit NSFW) monologue. As someone who loved Rickles "very much," the host began his tribute by unnecessarily apologizing for his emotional state.
"It's not gonna be our usual show tonight because — and I'm gonna tell you right up front — I'm gonna cry," Kimmel told his audience. "I'm already crying, which is embarrassing but... well, I'm not good with this sort of thing."
"I know it sounds crazy to say he was too young," Kimmel added, "but he was because he was youthful, and funny, and sharp and generous. And I was fortunate enough to not only have Don on this show, as my guest, but to also become close to him... which was a lot of fun for me."
Kimmel said Rickles appeared on JKL after being asked "over and over."
"Finally, after we bothered him like 20 times, he gave up and he did the show for my birthday in 2006," ABC's late night man shared, "and it was exciting. It was like I was in some kind of talk show host fantasy camp sitting behind a desk while Don Rickles made fun of me."
Kimmel said the two went to dinner after nearly all of Rickles' subsequent 17 appearances, and he shared what Rickles meant to him.
"They called him 'Mr. Warmth' as a joke, but that was what he was," Kimmel assured his viewers before getting choked up. "He would always ask about my parents, my kids. When my Uncle Frank passed away, I called him and asked him to be the guest on that show, which was a tough show, and he helped all of us through it."
Kimmel could also count on Rickles to throw a jab, like when doling out a review of how Kimmel did hosting the Oscars: "All in all, it was okay."
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Meyers honored the comedian with a story he's before: When he introduced himself to Rickles at a party, as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Upon receiving Rickles' condolences for SNL's cancellation, Meyers assured him it was still on the air, to which Rickles replied, "Ugh, a guy can dream."
"I remember thinking there's nothing better than getting burned by Don Rickles," Meyers said.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Colbert talked about the "incredible honor" of meeting Rickles backstage at the Emmys.
"He hugged me and told me I was good," the host revealed, "and I felt like a made man because we all should have his career and be who he was. Married to his wife — I don't know — 120 years, something like that. So God bless you, Don Rickles and thank you."
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