'Mr Potato Head' Don Rickles dies at age of 90

Don Rickles, the legendary comedian who helped make the art of the insult a full-fledged genre, died Thursday at the age of 90.

With Sinatra's endorsement, Rickles began his comedic assault on people famous and not so famous - Jews, Asians, African Americans, the Irish, Puerto Ricans, red-headed women, short guys, you name it - with tremendous results. "He just started showing up at places and insulting me".

Kimmel took the stage, teary-eyed, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Jimmy Kimmel also paid an emotional tribute on his U.S. talk show.

The 12-minute opening monologue detailed the host's relationship with Rickles, starting from his childhood growing up in Las Vegas, where Rickles often performed. "I know it sounds insane to say he was too young, but he was, because he was youthful and amusing and sharp and generous", Jimmy continued. Jimmy says that while everyone else would want Don to tell stories of Frank Sinatra, he'd want to ask Frank Sinatra to tell stories about Don Rickles if he could.

Don Rickles has made millions of us laugh over a long career run. "We were both up for Best Host of a Variety Show, and the better one of us won", Colbert said. His major break didn't happen until his first appearance on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson, where the two would become close friends from 1965 on. Sadly, the younger generation won't have a chance to be made fun of by the man affectionately known as "Mr. Warmth", as the cantankerous comedian has died at age 90.

Carl Reiner is mourning the loss of his longtime friend, legendary comedian Don Rickles.

Steve Lawrence said in a statement, "I've known Don Rickles nearly 65 years since we first met as teenagers".

"Not that you had to like it, but you had to be under a rock somewhere not to get it".

Barbra Streisand remembered the experience of being on the pointy end of Rickles' sharp tongue, recalling, "Being skewered by Don Rickles was side-splitting amusing".

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, and his daughter, Mindy Mann.

  • Larry Hoffman