Don Rickles, king of insult comedy, dies at 90

Don Rickles, the comedian who wielded the insult like a saber during a six-decade performing career in Las Vegas showrooms, on stages around the globe and in memorable appearances on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson", has died. His most memorable - and ubiquitous - performances were on late night talk shows.

In May 2014, Rickles was honored by other comedy icons, such as David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld in the Spike TV special "One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles". (The mid 1970s nautical sitcom CPO Sharkey barely ran for two years on NBC.) He appeared in films like the Toy Story franchise (voicing Mr. Potato Head), and did dramatic turns in John Landis' Innocent Blood and rubbed elbows with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese's Casino.

Even volatile Sinatra let Rickles have his comedic way with him.

Billy Crystal tweeted simply, "A giant loss".

When acting roles didn't come, Rickles switched to comedy. As chronicled in the 2007 documentary Mr. Warmth, Rickles' comedy was frequently based on racist, homophobic, and ethnic stereotypes - some of which were layered with irony.

Rickles was known for referring to his hecklers as "hockey pucks".

Sinatra took such a strong liking to the comic that Rickles became an honorary member of the Rat Pack and the singer helped open doors for Rickles and his caustic wit.

"It's a mistake", Rickles said upon accepting the prize (watch below).

To many fans, he was known as the prototypical insult comic.

Making fun of people was something Rickles developed as a kid, and eventually he incorporated the tough love style of humor into his act.

Rickles is also on Twitter, posting two or three jokes a week.

His career included movies, like Pajama Party, Casino, Toy Story and The Rat Race. "I said, 'Why, Frank?' He said, 'you're going to be in the inaugural for Reagan.' I says, 'Frank, what are you, nuts?' He says, 'shut up and do what I tell you.' I had no idea what I was going to say".

Rickles was born and raised in Queens, New York. According to Hollywood Reporter, Larry died in 2011 from respiratory failure due to pneumonia at the age of 41. "Loyalty in this business is very important".

Rickles is survived by Barbara, his wife of 52 years; a daughter, Mindy Mann; and two grandchildren. Funeral services will be private.

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