Maybe because it's Stanley Cup season that our thoughts turn to Don Rickles, who transformed "hockey puck" from something that's sold at Modell's into an insulting term. Be that as it may, we write today of Jackson Heights' favorite son because he will be honored Sunday night with the prestigious Johnny Carson Award on Comedy Central's "Comedy Awards." Here are five examples of the Merchant of Venom's TV work.
'THE DON RICKLES SHOW' (1972) -- Before Madison Avenue gave us Don Draper, we had advertising exec Don Robinson, played by Rickles in this forgotten comedy. (The character and his family lived in Great Neck.)
'C.P.O. SHARKEY' (1976-78) -- Rickles was the title character, a Navy lifer in charge of shaping up (and insulting) new recruits.
'FOUL-UPS, BLEEPS & BLUNDERS' (1984-85) -- ABC's poor-man's version of "TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes" featured Rickles and -- yes! -- Steve Lawrence as co-hosts.
'DADDY DEAREST' (1993) -- Great casting, but poor execution: Rickles was a recently separated, brash used-car salesman who moved in with his adult son, a divorced neurotic shrink played by Richard Lewis.
GUEST APPEARANCES -- We still remember Rickles as a compulsive kidnapper who somehow washed up on "Gilligan's Island" (1966) and as the outrageous Indian, Bald Eagle, on "F Troop" (1965).