I was just watching some old clips of Don on YouTube and the man is still amazing to this day. Still funny after all these years. Never swore in any of his performances, never had to. Didn’t matter if you were white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Jew, Gentile, Catholic, or Republican, he toasted and roasted everyone with that smirky sly grim on his face that was funny just in itself. And you laughed with him, regardless of who you were, even if you were the target.
Today, in this politically correct era, he would get run out of town if he was just starting out. A lot of people posted comments about how great he was and how great it was back then in the day people could laugh at themselves. And that’s true, to an extent, but the target of his jokes were mostly the upper class, rich, or famous. People who were his friends, or acquaintances, or who lived in a position where they could laugh at themselves.
So comments like this, although true, don’t really reflect society as a whole, then or now.
I’m black, and I approve. He was a legend. No one was safe, and the reality is that he wasn’t attacking people – he was attacking stereotypes. People could laugh at themselves back then and move on together. Now, people are more polite, but walking on eggshells and segregating ourselves. We ended segregation only to be more segregated. Ain’t that some shit.
Unfortunately, this kind of humor would never fly these days, because people can’t laugh at themselves anymore.
As a Black man I was never offended by Don Rickles how could I be ? he brought laughter into my life he had no bias I shed tears when he passed nobody like Mr Don Rickles.
Watching Don roast people like Redd Foxx, Telly Savalas, Nipsey Russell, Dean Martin, Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr. was hilarious, to him, to them, and to us. But I doubt that even back then that some of Don’s jokes would fly if that same comedy was directed at the average Joe. Watching Don work was like watching a good movie, an escape from reality, a chance to laugh and vegetate, like anything Hollywood produces.
Don was roasting friends. Sure people need to laugh at themselves, they did then, they still do now, amongst friends you can say pretty much anything. That’s never changed.
( images courtesy of pagesix.com and hmag.com )