Don Rickles may be deceased, but he’s still getting laughs. The legendary comedian left behind a surprise for his fans in a posthumous web series for AARP (aarp.org) called “Dinner With Don.” Here, the man known as “Mr. Warmth” sits down with celebrities such as rapper Snoop Dogg, actors Paul Rudd and Vince Vaughn, comedians Sarah Silverman and Billy Crystal, directors Judd Apatow and Martin Scorsese and more.
All 13 episodes, which run seven to 10 minutes, were shot from December 2016 to January of this year each at different California restaurants, making it his last professional project before his death in April. At age 90, Rickles may have been lower energy than he once was, but his mind was still sharp. When late-night host Jimmy Kimmel asks him what comedian he looked up to, he responds, “I love me.”
Suddenly Kimmel notices his glass has a lipstick mark on it and Rickles quickly quips, “Call the board of health, we’ll close this place!”
In one of the episodes, “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler, who has a background in improv with Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade, marvels at Rickles’ ability to come up with zingers on the spot.
“Everything I’ve ever done on stage has never been written,” says Rickles. “It worked for me. I never walked off the stage feeling I offended anybody.”
One comical scene is when Rickles shares a pair of ear buds with Snoop, who is bopping and rapping from side-to-side, saying, “Ya hear that, Don?” and Rickles snaps, “No, I’m deaf!”
While dining at Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood with Rudd, Rickles immediately breaks the actor’s chops by saying, “They say you’re a very successful actor, but to be honest I’ve never heard of you.”
When Vaughn asks Rickles — in between bites of sushi at Nobu in Malibu — if he ever wrote a screenplay, the comic responds, “I had trouble getting out of high school. ‘Cat’ was a tough word for me to spell.”
However, nothing is more fun than watching Rickles verbally abuse Robert De Niro, with whom he co-starred in 1995’s “Casino.” When De Niro tries to fix Rickles’ napkin, the feisty comedian warns, “You touch me and you’re in a lot of trouble!”
“What is this show?” asks De Niro. Rickles retorts, “It’s to keep your name alive!”