Friday, April 7, 2017

Don Rickles (and my childhood)

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Don Rickles.  Don was a frequent comedian in my younger years, appearing many times on the Johnny Carson show as well as roasts of others.  I used to cry if my parents wouldn't allow me to stay up to watch Johnny Carson.

Anyways....  Don Rickles was a dominant force in those years.  He was ruthless in his honest comedy.  I particulary enjoyed his portraying of deference (comedic but also truthful) to Frank Sinatra.  I'd attended a local concert where Mr. Sinatra sang.  He actually seemed to be intrigued at this young boy so entranced by this songs he gave me a little cheek squeeze.

Mr. Rickles used truth to skewer his targets - but he was successful because his targets knew he loved them.  It was the truth surrounded by love and admiration of his targets that made Don Rickles so funny and successful.  He made us all understand that even the most successful, rich, and powerful had their faults.  

I laugh every time I recall one of his real (but actually planned) skits.  He taught us all a valuable lesson - don't take yourself so seriously.  Someone as brilliant as Mr. Rickles can come along and skewer you.  We all have our faults - focus on your strengths but learn from your faults.  There will always be someone close to you that sees through your facade and can point out your deficiencies.  

Just remember that this is always done with love - Mr. Rickles proved that.

Rest in peace Don.

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