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Price: Under $100,000
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 35-50,50 +
Don Rickles was born in 1926 in Queens, New York. Tw years after leaving the army, serving for the navy in World War II, Rickles entered the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for study. He began accepting small parts on television, but found himself drawn to stand-up comedy. He sought out opportunity to perform at various venues around the country, and began to establish a following, counting Frank Sinatra among one of his earliest fans.
Rickles’s success in stand-up led to more substantial television roles in the 1960’s, both dramas and sitcoms. Some of his earliest appearances include: The Addams Family (1964), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1964), The Andy Griffith Show (1965), The Munsters (1965), Gilligan’s Island (1966), Get Smart (1968), and Laugh-In (1968-1969.) These gigs eventually led to his role as a frequent guest on a number of talk shows, specifically the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, on which he first appeared in 1965. (His infamous embrace of Johnny Carson while crying, “I’m so lonely, Johnny,” has since become a classic moment in television.) In addition to Carson, Don Rickles appeared often on the Dean Martin Show and by the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, his career as a comedian was firmly established. Ever since, Don Rickles has been entertaining audiences across the generations.
Since the early 1970’s, Don Rickles has appeared on innumerous television shows, most recently: The Bernie Mac Show (2002), The Daily Show (2007), Hot in Cleveland (2011), and multiple visits to the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and other talk shows. His live comedy albums – Hello Dummy! (1968) and Don Rickles Speaks! (1969), have reached into the top 100 on the charts, and his stand-up shows have been consistent sell-outs for multiple decades. In addition to television and stand-up, Don Rickles has appeared on the big screen as well, in; Pajama Party (1964), Enter Laughing (1967), Innocent Blood (1992), Casino (1995), Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3 (1995, 1999, 2010), Dirty Work (1998), and Dennis the Menace Strikes Again (1998.)
Recently, Don Rickles has appeared in the drama series The Unit (2007) and on Kathy Griffin; My Life on the D-List (2009), and also published his memoirs in 2007, titled Rickles’ Book. A documentary based on his life followed, premiering on HBO in 2007 and earning two Emmys. In 2012, Don Rickles performed at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Rickles is still active on stage and on screen and has scoffed at the idea of any retirement in the near future.
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