Don Rickles to Get Tribute from Jimmy Kimmel, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Newhart

By: Shana Norris - April 18, 2014

Don Rickles will get an all-star tribute from an impressive lineup of comedic celebrities such as Jimmy Kimmel, Bob Newhart, and Jerry Seinfeld next month. Robert De Niro, David Letterman, Tracy Morgan, Regis Philbin, Ray Romano, Martin Scorsese, John Stamos, and Jon Stewart are also slated to appear at the event.

The 90-minute tribute titled One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles will be taped on May 6 at the Apollo Theater, a New York City landmark located in Harlem. The show will air May 28 on Spike Network.

“The genius of Rickles is in the danger, nobody is safe, and what you can expect is a night of comedy from these superstars worthy of a legend. It truly will be One Night Only,” said Casey Patterson, Executive Producer and Executive Vice President, Event Production & Talent Development, Viacom Entertainment Group, which owns Spike.

Rickles, a native of Queens, will turn 88 on May 8.

Often referred to as the “Merchant of Venom” or “Mr. Warmth,” Rickles is considered comedy’s master of the insult.

Early on, Rickles abandoned his dreams of becoming a serious actor to hone his nightclub act. In 1957, Frank Sinatra saw the act at Slate Brothers in Los Angeles and quickly became Rickles’ champion.

It wasn’t long before Rickles had caught the attention of Dean Martin and Johnny Carson and was headlining performances in Las Vegas.

”My humor is so over the top you’d have to be an awful fool to think I’m embarrassing you,” Rickles said in a 1996 interview with The New York Times. ”When I pick someone from the audience, their eyes say, ‘I can take it.’ But if I’m wrong, I’ll never let them know it. When you sell yourself you just can’t back down. I absolutely believe that. You’ve got to stay with what got you to the dance. It’s an old expression but true.”

Rickles and his wife Barbara celebrated their 49th anniversary in March. They’re the parents of two children, Larry and Mindy. Mindy followed in her father’s comedic footsteps.

One Night Only is a relatively new annual event on Spike. The first installment, which aired in 2012 and paid tribute to Eddie Murphy, remains the highest rated show in the network’s history.

Image via YouTube

About the Author

Shana NorrisShana Norris is a writer, reader, runner, coffee guzzler, and chocolate inhaler who dreams of becoming an Avett Brothers groupie. You can follow her on Twitter, Google +ShanaNorris, and Pinterest or on her blog at ShanaNorris.net.

View all posts by Shana Norris
  • No Comment

    It would be nice to see Don Rickles sitting on the butt-end of a “Roast”. I used to enjoy those Celebrity Roasts he had done on the Dean Martin Shows.

    • Mike Price

      He did it.

  • BBob

    Don is an American National Treasure.

  • Ardeare

    Why is Jimmy Kimmell invited?

    • dennis

      because he has had Rickles numerous times on his show. didn’t you know

  • JudyOKC

    I have seen Don Rickles in some dramatic roles. He is a very good actor.

  • Johhny Tbone

    Nice to see him roasted at 87 :)

  • estadoggy

    Wow, Jon Stewart is going to be there twice.

  • lnsots29

    Mr. Rickles does not know it, but I am here today because of his Comedic funnies. He actually saved my life and future. He taught me that being funny can make one realize that life has its ups and downs. With him I found many more ups than downs…..Thank you Mr. Rickles.

  • Steve Bodiford

    They should be airing this on major networks. Somebody has dropped the ball on this event!

  • Jake Carson

    I sure hope that this will be a great opportunity for everyone to see some of “Don’s Scenes” from his productions of his classic hits “Tales From Kutcharitaville”. You know that Rickles and Johnny Carson together produced those comedy hits about their friend “Mr. Kutchie Pelaez” and their wild and crazy exploits of Kutchie’s Key West and The World of Key Lime Pies from the perspective of (Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Kutchie Pelaez and Steve Martins Eyes!) What a Hoot Those Classic Hits Surely Were. Don’t miss them, be sure to tune-in next month.