Monday, March 3, 2008
A tribute to a Legend (as far as I'm concerned)
To me, there is no better form of comedy than that of a Celebrity Roast and truly without Dean Martin, the king of Celebrity Roasts, the roast might not be as popular as it is today. Dean Martin was the Roastmaster General of the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts and the comedy still holds true today. Really was there anyone in history as cool as Deano? If you watch any of the old roasts, there you see Dean completely drunk off his keister with cigarette in hand. The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts ran for years and are some of the best pieces of comedic genius in Television History. Of all the regulars on the Dean Martin Roasts, there was one shining star. One man who was destined for greatness and one man who could lay out insults better than anyone else in history. That man was "Mr. Warmth" Don Rickles. Bob Levy, Geoff Ross, Lisa Lampinelli, and Colin Quinn are great roasters, but no one could touch Don Rickles back then and I almost guarantee that no one could touch him right now. Here's a few clips courtesy of Youtube of Don Rickle's comedic genius.
Don roasting then Governor (and soon president) Ron Reagan
Don Roasting the great Bob Hope
There is no greater talent in the world at roasting than Don Rickles. Nothing was off limits including race, religion, or social status and that's simply the way it should be. For every zinger Don threw at his roastees, there were double the amount thrown back his way. Don Rickles is a throwback in every single way and there is no one better. I have a few of Don's albums and I listen to them every so often because he's so talented. Below is one of my favorite Rickle scenes from a movie called "Dirty Work". From listening to Artie on the Stern show, this was all improv and it's simply brilliant. This is also where Artie earned the nickname "Baby Gorilla".
You may ask why a 34 year old is blogging about Don Rickles. It's simple really. There is no one more brilliant that Don Rickles. I saved the Stern Show that he was on last year and I've watched countless hours of his videos both on DVD, VHS, and on YouTube. I can guarantee you that the man could probably make anyone cry and that's comedic genius. I hope once every few months to post about some of the legends of comedy. I feel that so much of modern comedy is evolved from the legends and I'm so pleased to offer up one of my favorites for the first one. I know there's no chance that Mr. Warmth reads this, but if he does, you are simply the best Don. No one does it better than you.