In 1985, Don Rickles, who died today at 90, performed at President Ronald Reagan’s second inaugural ball, an honor he later called the “highlight of my life.” You wouldn’t know it from his set: the insult comedian revealed he didn’t vote for the president, and later joked/not-joked, “It’s a great pleasure to fly out here from California and be with you for this kind of money.” But before leaving the stage, Rickles looked straight at the First Couple and sincerely offered, “May God be good to you and yours for the coming four years and beyond that. You’re a great gentleman and a great credit to the country. May He give you health, the almighty, and may you reign as long as you wish.”
Don Rickles was the nicest man in the world who only pretended to be the nastiest man in the world (“I’m not really a mean, vicious guy,” he once said.) “Mr. Warmth” was also the main character in thousands of hilarious stories, and an inspiration to millions of comedians and fans of comedy. Look no further than the outpouring of tributes Rickles, who recently stated he was “still going pretty damn good,” received once news of his death broke.
Rest in peace, ya hockey puck.