Jimmy Kimmel pays tribute to the late Don Rickles
He also described the first time Rickles - who rose to fame as a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" - appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in 2006. "I'm already crying, which is embarrassing but. well, I'm not good with this sort of thing".
Rickles' last appeared on stage in Las Vegas in late October.
Kimmel reminisced about their relationship and revealed how it took multiple attempts to entice the comedian onto his show over the years. However, while the moniker was meant to be ironic, Kimmel said that he actually was incredibly warm, caring and sweet.
If you, as a fan of stand-up comedy, love the so-called "insult comics", you owe a debt of gratitude to Don Rickles.
"He would always ask about my parents, my kids", Kimmel continued.
TV execs tried to cash in on his popularity with "The Don Rickles Show" in 1972 but it was short-lived. "And he helped all of us through it", Kimmel remembered.
90 years with Don Rickles weren't enough.
Throughout his career, Rickles also made guest appearances on numerous television shows including "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Beverly Hillbillies".
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Rickles' fellow comedians and peers are clearly taking the loss hard, many of them mourning the comedy legend via social media. On The Late Show, Colbert recalled losing to Rickles at the Emmys, only to soon be embraced by the comic afterward.
Jimmy Kimmel started his show with an emotional tribute to his late friend. Married to his wife - I don't know - 120 years, something like that. Even in his advanced age, Rickles remained an unceasingly entertaining force and role model for anybody who tries to make people laugh.
Rickles said he then came home and wanted to be an actor, and that's when he went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Dear Jimmy, thanks so much for the lovely frame of you and I. Who needs Sinatra, your picture of us together is much more important. "But there's nothing better than comedian funerals, because everyone tells the best jokes".
Comedian Sandra Bernhard tweeted: "Damn it, we lost a great one #DonRickles fast furious brilliant for decades the definition of genius".
Stars of the entertainment world paid tribute to him. "I feel lucky for the times I was ever in his orbit", Corden wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family".
Kimmel reminisced about a dinner party he enjoyed with Rickles once at Mario Batali's Los Angeles restaurant Mozza. "A dear pal that we will all sorely miss".
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