Don Rickles passes away

Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to comedy legend Don Rickles on Thursday night's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on ABC.

"He hugged me and told me I was good", said Colbert. "I did some good movies", he said in 2007. He grew up listening to Rickles as a kid in Las Vegas, and eventually became friends with the legendary comedian.

The 49-year-old talk show host opened up about his past with the beloved comic, and how it took four years to convince him to come on the show.

His sharp style earned him the nickname of "Mr. Warmth" from chat show host Johnny Carson, on whose show Rickles appeared on dozens of occasions over the years, and, later, David Letterman's too.

"Don came to visit 17 more times after that". When my uncle Frank passed away, I called [Don] and asked him to be the guest on that show.

Kimmel thought this was amusing because he believed Don Rickles should be the one boosting him, not the other way around.

Rickles guested on Kimmel's show 18 times since it went on the air in 2003, and over that period, Kimmel and Rickles formed a meaningful relationship with each other, both on and off set.

Rickles was known for poking fun at people, regardless of the color of their skin or their profession.

Kimmel remembered Rickles's first appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on November 13, 2006 - Kimmel's birthday. "He would always say 'keep my name alive".

- Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett)RIP Don Rickles.

So it's fitting that the current crop of late-night hosts are paying tribute to the iconic insult comic on their Thursday night shows.

Among those playing tribute were Mel Brooks, who called him: 'One of the bravest, funniest, and sweetest guys that ever performed. "It was nearly an honor to be insulted by him", Franjola said.

After serving two years in the Navy during World War 2, Rickles set out to be an actor but transitioned to stand-up comedy.

Kimmel reminisced about a dinner party he enjoyed with Rickles once at Mario Batali's Los Angeles restaurant Mozza. "He just started showing up at places and insulting me". "My thoughts are with his family today".

  • Salvatore Jensen