I knew Don Rickles. I was the butt of his wit when he was a guest on a newscast I was doing in back in 1968. I didn’t do his interview that was my colleague’s segment, but he picked on me anyway. During breaks and after the program we talked. He asked about my career. I said I’d just been hired by a New York station and was looking forward to working in the Big Apple.
He said, Rolland, don’t do it. New York eats people up. He kept it up insulting me in the process. Finally, he smiles and says, “I had you going didn’t I. You’ll do fine kid.”
Years later, I reminded Don of that time long ago when I would see him at Friars Club roasts. Surprisingly he remembered, or at least, said he did. Then he added, “CBS is still paying you, right?”
Don Rickles lived a good life. He was a master of his craft, and we had the best of his 90-years. Making someone laugh is one of the best gifts you can ever give. Who can ever forget his many episodes on the Carson Show?
There is a new headliner in heaven. Standing room only.