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Don Rickles: I was too mean for TV
By Michael Starr
October 15, 2015 | 2:04amhttps://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2 ... kles1a.jpg
Photo: JIMI CELESTE/patrickmcmullan.com
Don Rickles, turning 90 next May, is still such a ubiquitous TV presence (particularly on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”) that it’s hard to fathom the “Merchant of Venom” never had much success in series television. So if you don’t remember his NBC sitcom “CPO Sharkey” (1976-78) — many people don’t — here’s your chance: It’s part of “Mr. Warmth! Don Rickles: The Ultimate TV Collection,” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1ls3N8-T4s
out Oct. 20 from Time Life. The eight-disc DVD set also includes Rickles’ four ’70s-era comedy specials — guests include Frank Sinatra, Don Adams, Jack Klugman and John Wayne — and other tidbits.
CPO Sharkey Season 1 DVD Clip - Sharkey and Pruitt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRg3fljkuJw
I asked Rickles, on the phone from LA, why it was always tough for the networks to find him a suitable prime-time vehicle.
“They were never able to catch on with me, with my image,” he says. “It was tough to write how I am. The dramatic stuff always went over big, but I never had luck with comedy. The people around me were great, but somebody said I was ‘too strong’ on TV — not with the language or what I said, but with my attitude. At that time I was comparatively young for TV … so it was difficult for me. I didn’t feel that way, but that’s the way it went.”
Rickles, who will reprise his Mr. Potato Head role for the fourth “Toy Story” movie — “it’s been lucrative and fun to do” — says he’s not planning on retiring anytime soon “unless, God forbid, my health goes bad. I had a bum leg, it got some disease on it — it’s a long story — but now I sit in a chair with a cane and they still laugh so I’m happy about that. And if I don’t do standup, I’ll be sitting in a chair and taking questions and talking about my life. As long as they show up and see me.”
Frank Sinatra is Surprised by Don Rickles on Johnny Carson's Show, Funniest Moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5_V9RT8aR8