For the first time since I’ve started writing this blog, I’m about to do something different.
I’m not writing a post that has anything to do with technology, social media, gadgets, or gizmos.
I’m writing a post about a comedian, specifically Don Rickes. Mr. Warmth himself.
You heard me, you hockey puck.
Don Rickles is one of the last “old-school” comedians — the kind that I grew up watching on TV with my parents. His humour isn’t for everyone, but honestly, in comparison to some modern comedians, it could be considered tame.
You just don’t see jokes delivered like this any more:
Last week I saw Don Rickles perform live here in Vancouver. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because I had never seen one of his shows live before, but I knew that it would be funny, that he would insult people (I made sure to clean myself up nicely before we left so that I wouldn’t get picked on), and that we would laugh our heads off like we did when we used to get to stay up late to watch Johnny Carson.
What I didn’t expect at all were the little nuggets of genuine love and affection that Don interjected into his performance. Moments of absolutely heartfelt warmth and sincerity that made you smile and silently agree with what he was saying.
Moments learned from 87 years of life, 70 years of show business and 48 years of marriage. Moments learned from outliving most of your closest friends. And your son. Moments learned from being an 18-year-old kid fighting for freedom in World War II, and from watching a world change and evolve in ways you could never have imagined.
These are some of the things Don Rickles taught me during his show:
I wish for you, something that money cannot ever buy. Your health. L’chaim.
Take this word of advice. Always, always remember your mother because she will always remember you.
I have been married 48 years, and on May 8th I will be 87 years old. In my life I have met a great many people and I hope that you have what I have, people around you who love you and care about you.
Take time to laugh, to enjoy life. Always.
Thank you for the reminder Mr. Rickles. I intend to.