Returning for his 56th consecutive year as a Las Vegas headliner, internationally distinguished comedian, actor and entertainer Don Rickles will perform at The Orleans Showroom, Oct. 17 and 18.
Frequently known by the nicknames “The Merchant of Venom” and “Mr. Warmth,” Rickles’ style of comedy is never mean-spirited and all part of his act. It has been said that being “zinged” by Rickles is like “wearing a badge of honor.” He remains immensely popular around the country and is in high-demand in the late night talk show circuit. Rickles most recently appeared on “The Tonight Show” to heckle Jimmy Fallon.
Rickles took his first step toward national fame in 1957, when he spotted Frank Sinatra in the audience at a nightclub in Miami Beach. The still-unknown Rickles eyed Sinatra and said, “I just saw your movie, ‘The Pride and the Passion,’ and I want to tell you, the cannon was great. Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody.” Sinatra, whose pet name for Rickles was “bullet-head,” enjoyed Rickles so much that he returned to see him when he was performing in Los Angeles, and encouraged other celebrities to see his act. Rickles soon became the “in” comic among Hollywood stars, who flocked to see him to become a target of his insults. Sinatra’s continuing support helped Rickles become a popular performer in Las Vegas, where he first started in 1959, and has been a headliner ever since.
Shortly after being discovered by Sinatra, Rickles made his acting debut in 1958’s “Run Silent Run Deep.” The movie was a hit, launching Rickles’ career as a movie, television and stage actor. His still-growing television and film resume includes roles in “Casino,” “Kelly’s Heroes,” “The Rat Race,” all three “Toy Story” films, HBO’s “Tales From the Crypt,” and Bravo’s “My Life on the D-List” with Kathy Griffin. In 2011, he made a surprise appearance in a “cliff-hanger” episode as the “thought-to-be-dead” husband of Betty White’s character on the TV Land comedy “Hot In Cleveland,” with a follow-up appearance later in the season. In 2000, Rickles received one of the highest honors in the entertainment business when he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Rickles has received two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical for the 2008 HBO special “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.” In 2009, TV Land honored Rickles with the “Legend Award.” Rickles’ best-selling memoir “Rickles’ Book” was released in 2007, followed by the 2008 title, “Rickles’ Letters.”
In spring 2012, Rickles joined David Letterman as one of the only two performers to receive the prestigious “Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence” at The Comedy Awards, aired on Comedy Central. The award was presented to Rickles by Jon Stewart and Robert DeNiro. In June 2013, Rickles was honored with the Friars Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy at a star-studded awards gala at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Among those participating in honoring Rickles through their songs or words were Lewis Black, Louis C.K., Natalie Cole, Bob Costas, Tony Danza, Robert DeNiro, Kathy Griffin, Diana Krall, John Mayer, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Joan Rivers, Bob Saget and John Stamos.
The honors continued when a star-studded cast honored Rickles on SPIKE TV’s “One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles” in May 2014. The two-hour special was taped in New York City, Rickles’ hometown, and includes stand-up performances, short films, pre-taped tributes and personal stories as told by Rickles’ closest friends, his co-stars and other comedians he has influenced. The event featured celebrities from the world of comedy, television and the silver screen including Robert DeNiro, Johnny Depp, Tina Fey, Brad Garrett, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, Tracy Morgan, Eddie Murphy, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Amy Poehler, Ray Romano, Martin Scorsese, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart and Brian Williams.
Showtime each evening is 8 p.m. Tickets start at $79.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling 702.284.7777, or visiting www.orleanscasino.com.