April 7, 2017


Late Night TV Rarely Gets as Emotional as Jimmy Kimmel's Don Rickles Tribute

Comedian and actor Don Rickles died on Thursday at age 90, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which welcomed Rickles nearly 20 times, paid tribute wonderfully. In his extended monologue, Kimmel was choked up and shedding tears from the start. "I know it sounds crazy to say he was too young, but he was," he said. "Because he was youthful and funny and sharp and generous. And I was fortunate enough to not only have Don on this show as my guest, but also to become close to him and his wife Barbara, which was a lot of fun for me."

Watch the host's tribute to Mr. Warmth, a.k.a. "probably the greatest talk show guest of all time," above.

At the 6:30 mark, Kimmel read from some of his many personal letters and thank-you notes from Rickles. At 9:10, he rolled a highlight reel of Rickles guesting on Live! and skewering the host.

Of Rickles' first, long-awaited visit to the show back in 2006, Kimmel said, "It was like I was in some kind of talk show host fantasy camp: sitting behind a desk while Don Rickles made fun of me. It was like being a real talk show host for a minute."

Adam Sandler was also on the show and chimed in with his own memories: