Don Rickles' Toy Story co-stars remember late comedian


He was 90 years old.

Rickles was best known for being the "insult comic" and was a master at roasting celebrities. "What can I tell ya?" "It was nearly an honor to be insulted by him", Franjola said. He made people laugh for more than half a century.

The New York-born Rickles had an intense, often-ad libbed, rapid-fire delivery and a wide, impish grin.

After serving in the Navy in the Philippines, Rickles failed in his attempts to be a salesman - he briefly sold insurance and air conditioners and peddled women's cosmetics door to door. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City where he prepped himself for Broadway, but faced a lot of rejection. In the 1950s, Frank Sinatra entered the bar with his entourage, and Rickles, who didn't shy away from anybody, took aim.

Rickles' presence in those movies added some caustic comic relief and helped him earn an invite to the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.

Don Rickles has died at the age of 90. He headlined the sitcom C.P.O. "Sharkey" lasted a bit longer, from 1976-1978.

"She had a tremendous drive", he recalled in "Mr. Warmth".

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But it was a perpetually bemused Carson who cemented Rickles' stature by engaging him in ad-libbed banter, and Rickles was forever grateful. We thought they'd never end.

"Marriage was not something that you looked for, and then when it hit me I was just delighted", he said. Such a professional, such a gentleman. "I'm fed up with you already, you know that?"

In 1995 he portrayed the trusted floor boss in Scorsese's gangster drama "Casino". 'I swear to God, it's a joke.' . "Then he finished by saying, 'May your soul be with us forever.'". In the 1990's, he would also take on the role of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise.

He said he was still operating with the same spontaneous humor he always had. "And I felt like a made man because we all should have his career and be who he was".

Rickles said he has no particular target in mind when he peers out into the audience.

CNN's Steve Almasy, Sandra Gonzalez and Sonya Hamasaki contributed to this report. Rickles became the unofficial court jester of Sinatra's Rat Pack, ridiculing his singing, his love life and his alleged connections to organized crime. And the answer is simpler than you might think.

Elizabeth Taylor: "Elizabeth, you gotta stop calling me". Years ago my wife and I are in NY. "But when he's on, I say, 'How does he get away with that?'" I'm gonna have to straighten you out.' . And in Hollywood, being insulted by Rickles was a compliment.

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"It seemed to catch on", he told King. "I've got to go home".

Rickles is in the middle of a scene when Carson barges in, and Carson jokingly asks if he was busy with anything.

"You were all marvelous, really you were". Marty, get somebody that can talk, for Christ's sake.

CHRIS ROCK: Oh, it's very offensive but not if you're into comedy. The soldiers, the Navy, they're getting exhausted. Every time there's a war, you're right there. "I said, 'Why, Frank?' He said, 'you're going to be in the inaugural for Reagan.' I says, 'Frank, what are you, nuts?' He says, 'shut up and do what I tell you.' I had no idea what I was going to say". "I do rib people, my intimate friends".

"But why am I here tonight, Jerry?"

Comedian Bob Saget tweeted: "My friend, my dad, the funniest biggest hearted of them all. And now that's over with, and I'm on this".

"I met your son....he's a wonderful young kid".

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