Throughout his career, Don Rickles was one of the most influential comedians of all time. This was due to his nature to always be pushing the envelope, and holding nothing back when he was onstage.
Now, Rickles is the subject of a new biography titled The Merchant of Venom by Michael Seth Starr. In the book, Starr “examines the inexplicable rise of the famously contentious comedian, his long career during TV’s expanding wave of shows and content during the 1950s-1970s, his penchant for “insult humor”, how he developed and perfected his heckling style, how he antagonized his audience’s ethnicity, looks, weight, wives, careers – nothing was off limits. His comedic style would be unthinkable today – and influenced generations of comedians including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Chris Rock.”
The press release continues, “A bully on stage, he was all heart in the real world. That combination of caustic, relentless slugger persona and loyal, affectionate, truly warm, secret softie was the making of legend. In an era where comedians are regularly censored for distasteful jabs, Rickles mystified critics with his unabashed barbs, slurs, and stereotypes, which made him even more famous.”
The book comes out on October 25th and you can pre-order it now.