Jan 9, 2008

You gotta love Mr Warmth.

When I was little, I had a small tv at my room. It was black and white, had no remote (this was the seventies, dammit) and it was way cool. Mom let me watch until my eyes melted out of my sockets. And, every night, when I knew everyone was sleeping, I cuddled up to watch the greatest man who ever lived: Johnny Carson. What bliss.

And every so often, we Carson fans had a treat. Mr Warmth, Don Rickles would visit. I loved it. A little grumpy old man, ripping Johnny a new one. My kind of humor, yes, at an early age. I loved his anger, his disdain for everyone. Insult after insult, you sat there thinking... Is Rickles nuts? Why is he allowed to do stuff like this on the air? You know why? Because he is BRILLIANT.

Running now on HBO is a great documentary called exactly like that: Mr Warmth. You gotta see it. It's basically a day in the life of old Don, being sharp as ever at his running show at Vegas. He talks about how he started, the people he met, what makes him tick. I've learned that Rickles is an acquired taste. He's the sushi of comedians. Some people might not like how it tastes, others love it to death and yearn for it from time to time.

He does his routine with class. He insults half of the audience. He sings. Badly. More insults. Line after line, gems. Some comedians in the documentary acknowledge the fact that his type of comedy is a bit out there. You are supposed to be insulted. This is NOT Politically Correct humor, in any way shape or form. In fact, Carlin is more PC than this guy. While Carlin brilliantly rips a new one once every four jokes, Rickles just kills you, and then moves on to the next victim.

I'm a bit sad that I recently went to Vegas and didn't think about seeing him. Things happen, drinks happen and well, you want to see that Cirque du Soleil first. But I made a promise to myself to return to see him. He's like the Eiffel tower. You just have to stand there and watch it.

So yeah, remember Mr Warmth. May I one day have the pleasure of this old man insulting the shit out of me. Then, only then, I could say I lived a great life.


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