Don Rickles Joke Cut from Shirley MacLaine Tribute

    June 14, 2012
    WebProNews Staff

Don Rickles, the insult comedian who was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, dropped an Obama joke during TV Land’s American Film Institute tribute to Shirley MacLaine that won’t make it into the broadcast. Rickles made a name for himself ridiculing and poking fun at celebrities and political figures, and is known for his abrasive, off-color humor. However, some have viewed his latest attempt at humor to be a racially charged, prompting the network to remove the bit from the June 24th broadcast.

At one point during the event, Rickles turned his attention to the President, unleashing an uncomfortable joke about Obama’s race. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the comedian jested, “I shouldn’t make fun of the blacks. President Obama is a personal friend of mine. He was over to the house yesterday, but the mop broke.”

A spokesperson from TV Lands told the Hollywood Reporter, “It’s not going to make it on the air — that’s all I’ll say about it.” However, a representative from Rickles camp seemed to have a different viewpoint on the matter.

“He is not being censored. Before all of this started, we knew Don’s spot would be cut a bit for time, as would others, including possibly Shirley herself since the show ran over and we knew it was likely that might be edited. This is a non-story and requires no further comment,” the rep remarked.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Rickles has attempted to make a racially-driven jab at the President. Shortly after Obama’s election in 2008, Rickles paid a visit to “The Tonight Show with David Letterman.” During his appearance, he joked about the President playing basketball during a national emergency, a quip that didn’t settle too well with those in the audience.

Is making a racially-insensitive joke about the President something that should be avoided in this day and age? Is getting insulted by Rickles no longer a badge of honor? The majority of people on the micro-blogging site seem to think that this is just Rickles being Rickles, nothing more. Have a look at some Twitter reactions to this story below.