Billy Crystal Talks Rat Pack With Don Rickles | Dinner with Don


>>You were really close with Sinatra.
>>As close as you can be, yeah. So why were you not part of the Rat Pack? ’Cause I was too talented. [laughter] How many years do we know each other?>>Man, I know you a long time.
>>A long time.>>Plus, your cousin…
>>Yeah?>>Solomon Griboff…
>>Yeah, the doctor.>>was my doctor.
>>That’s how I remember. He ruined my baseball career.>>Did he really?
>>Yes. It was right before my bar mitzvah.>>I lived in Long Beach.
>>Yeah.>>You were a Queens kid.
>>Yeah. All right, so…
It’s right before my bar mitzvah, and I’m small. I have a brother 6-2, another one 5-10, and I get scraps. So your cousin, Solomon, says,
“Well, let’s put him on appetite pills. The more he eats, maybe he’ll grow.” I get fat. I don’t grow. I burst through Robert Hall suits. So now he said, “Well, let’s X-ray his hands,” right? And I’m thinking I could be the Yankee shortstop. You know, I’m 12 years old. Phil Rizzuto was 5-5, right?
>>Yeah. So he comes out and he says the thing that to this day has devastated me. He says, “Maybe 5-8.” That killed me. Your cousin. I didn’t know that you grew up in Queens.
>>Jackson Heights. Jackson Heights.
What high school did you go to? Newtown High School.>>Brothers? Sisters?
>>No, just me.>>Just you. Only child?
>>Yeah. I never knew that. Were you a funny kid?>>Well, my mother thought so.
>>[laughing]>>This is great.>>Mr. Rickles will get the check too, thanks.
>>My pleasure. So when I started out, we had Catch a Rising Star, we had the Improv, there was The Comedy Store. It was a place for us to be bad.
>>Right. You know, to get our chops, to get our muscles going, before we went out and started to get jobs. Where was the first place that you said, “All right, I’m going to do an act. Can I get on?” How did you start? Well, I was working in places right off the street. As I was doing my act, paper was rolling in…with a piano player outside. “Dunt, dunt, dunt, dunt, Don Rickles.” And I would just talk to the people.>>So you put this act together…
>>I didn’t put nothing together. They said, “You’re on.”
And I said, “I’m on what?” [laughter]
>>What was your opening line? Well like things like, I’d walk out on the stage, look at a woman and say, “The dress is embarrassing.”>>[laughing] Right away?
>>Yeah. Look at the front row, I’m working a home. Look at the guy with the beard. You’ve got an hour. Jesus. He’s sitting there like he has years.
You’re going to die in the morning, for Christ’s sake. Inherently, you’re a wonderful man and I think that comes through. So when you do that…
>>That’s very sweet, thank you.>>you can get away with stuff.
>>There was one guy — bad, bad guy — and he came to the show with his wife. And I said to the wife, “Yeah. Ooh, what, a bus hit her? What happened?” Show’s over, guy comes backstage with her.
“I want you to tell her now that she’s a dog. You made fun of her, huh?”>>Ow…
>>”How would you like it if I come back here and break your arms?” And my manager, Joe Scandori, at the time was related to, you know, a chain of people, you know.” Yeah. [laughing] A chain of people! And I call him and says, “Joe, this guy is going to kill me.” And he had a voice like a bird. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, I’ll take care of it.”>>[laughing]
>>”I’ll take care of everything, don’t worry.” It seems the guys in Brooklyn called and said, “Schmuck, Rickles is our friend. He could say anything.”>>That’s a good chain of friends.
>>Yeah. [laughter] Jilly Rizzo gave me a break in Miami Beach. Guy said, “You stink!” and Jilly walked over and said,
“[strangling noises]” [laughter]>>So why were you not part of the Rat Pack? Cause I was too talented. [laughter] No, I… I mean, I’m sure Peter Lawford was laughs, but He was fun. He knew how to carry a casket. [laughter]>>And Sammy?
>>He was fun to be with.>>That was like a big break for me. I became his opening act for him.
>>Really.>>And that’s where I starting doing him, because when you’re in a room with somebody that infectious and that legendary…
>>Yeah, absolutely. You can’t help but not want to start to talk like him, and I mean that. Yeah, I know, I always remember you did that. Yeah, and it became so exciting. A lot is made of the jewelry that you wear. I mean, it’s just part of you. It’s not like you’re bragging or, you know, it’s not an ostentatious…
>>They’re fun!>>They’re fun.
>>They’re fun. And they are a part of me because I can’t get the damn things off, you know. But I love them! And this is very special to me. This is from Dick Clark for playing “Pyramid” more than anybody else has ever played the game.>>But not on television.
>>No, at home.>>Just at home, yeah.
>>A dog, a cat, let’s play a little bit.>>House pets.
>>Very good. Crackers, pickles, monkeys.
>>Things found in a barrel. Very good. Schmechlich, albechin, Kichtachen, Schmelmin,
>>Things you hock up in the morning!>>Very good.>>I would do Cosell, I would do Ali.
>>Yeah, well, you do them good, by the way. Hello once again, everyone, Howard Cosell coming to you. [applause] Mohammad, Frazier was incredible. How did you feel about the contest? [laughter] Everybody’s talking about Joe Frazier. Don’t want to talk about you. [laughter] You did a lot of impressions in the beginning. Yeah, we all did, yeah. But the early ones you did was Gable and Burt Lancaster because your first movie was “Run Silent, Run Deep.” Gable used to say to me, “God dammit, Rickles, let’s go and have a beer. We don’t need this.” But Burt, he was serious. “Learn about the submarine, learn about the engine.” “Learn why the sub goes fast.”
[laughter] The first time I met Burt Lancaster was at the Oscars. I tapped him on the shoulder, he turned around and, oh my God, it’s Burt Lancaster. He looked at me and he goes, “Have you ever been an acrobat?” “Because you move like an acrobat. I think you could be an acrobat.” “I was an acrobat. I started as an acrobat.” Anthony Quinn, I loved him. He always used to say, “Uhhhh, where’s the waitress, for Christ’s sake?” And I said, “Tony, you can’t keep eating with your hands.”
[laughter] You’ve seen a lot of presidents. You were born in ’26, so you see…>>Well, I did a show for
>>Lincoln.>>Washington.
>>Washington. Washington.>>The guy I was really close with is George Bush Sr.
>>Senior.>>He was like the back-up guy.
>>It’s called the vice president. Yeah. The president’s here, this is a big shot for me. Last night we had Bush. Well… It was great. Did you see him and the wife after the show? He was in the lobby going, “Nobody knows me.” [laughter] I gave him a cookie, he went away. He didn’t know what time it was. I won a thousand dollars in a bet about you. With Robin, rest his soul. We were doing “Comic Relief,” Robin, Whoopi and I. You graciously come on. We were raising money for the homeless. And I say to Robin before you come out, because we were all so excited that you were coming, I said, “Robin, I’ll bet you a thousand dollars, at some point, Don will slap one of us in the face.” [laughing] I remember that. And you come out, you kill the audience and we sold T-shirts together, and at the end of it when you said, “Am I getting out of here now? Can I leave now?” and we said, “Yeah,” and you slapped Robin in the face.>>Take care of yourself.
>>You too, take care, and I’m glad the hair thing did well. [laughter]>>Yeah, you want to know something?
>>What? I can’t believe that you’re Peter Pan.
[slap] Now, I’ll tell you this…>>I called it!
>>I know! [applause] And as we walk off, I’m basically almost falling down saying, “All right, give me the thousand, we’ll give it to the charity.” But could you have imagined that at 90, you’d still be great and still be out there working? Isn’t that amazing? Well that’s very sweet of you, but.. You go out. How many dates a year do you do now? About 20. And you go out with Regis a lot. Well, that’s a mercy thing. [laughter] You know I’m glad, I’m glad we did this.>>Should we do this again?
>>You’re not strong enough. [laughter]>>Good things, Don.
>>For you, too, a happy and healthy new year. You too, Don. [applause] OK, we’re leaving. I really first became aware of Don on “The Tonight Show,” when he’d come on and he just would destroy everybody. And then I’d see him on the Dean Martin roasts, and where everybody was doing prepared jokes, he took everybody on with an attitude that was just hilarious and you believed him. He’s the last of the breed of comics that inspired me to want to be a comedian. He was on a “Tonight Show” with Johnny and something died. A joke just sat there. And Don said, “I feel like I’m a Jew in Germany and my bike broke.” First, it’s just funny. But second of all, it’s just so… historically accurate. What was harder than being a Jew in Germany and the fact that your mode of getting away from everybody is broken. You don’t get a chance to speak to people like this very often. What it do? It’s your boy, big Snoop Dogg. And I need y’all to go subscribe right now to the AARP Channel. You know what I’m talking about? So you can see Don Rickles and see his right-hand man, no, his left-hand man, Snoop Dogg, live and direct. Go subscribe right now. What you waiting on? What did he say?

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  1. Pre-watch: I am hoping to find a way to like Billy Crystal because I think he takes himself way too seriously (IMO) and hoping to see him laugh at himself at the behest of Don. I was reminded of his great impression of Sammy, which was a great bit, yet done in blackface but was done out of love and respect and not out of mockery or hatred. Post-watch: Billy did not get ANY wrath from Don but I do have a little more respect from Billy Crystal. Don seemed very subdued in this one but it is understandable. Even legends run out of steam and can't live forever. God bless and RIP Don Rickles.

  2. THE KING OF COMEDY AND MORALITY!!! Small true story I was doing some work for Barbara Rickles during their move from long time home on Levine in Beverly Hills to a condo in Century City. I remember Barbara being a clean freak and perfectionist but very warm and kind. While standing in the kitchen, Don walks in and she introduces me as the guy doing the work for them. Don doesn't skip a beat and says "Well I didn't fucking think I'd have to meet you today" scares the crap out of me and Barbara says "Don!" He then pats me on the shoulder and says it all good. I still have a coaster from there move from there wedding. California was great but then the PC culture took over.

  3. Billy is such a lovely guy, and i just loved Don, two amazing guys, a lovely little intimate time together

  4. Waiting for the SJW's to protest Crystal in blackface, or impressions of Ali. So brilliant, and we can't do such humor any more.

  5. Don Rickles RIP and Billy Crystal two great old time Jewish comedians. Sharp, witty, clean, fast, polite, funny. Now all we have are foul mouthed talentless morons. Don Rickles was the only person who owned Robin Williams. That slap was hard. Billy Crystal gets teary at the end realizing that it was a farewell performance with Don. Great respect to both.
    America…look after Billy. He's the last American-Jewish comedian.

  6. Off camera, Billy Crystal and Don Rickles were 180 degree opposites. Don Rickles is a VERY kind, humble person off camera. Billy Crystal is a MEAN, HUGE EGO person.
    My perception of Celebrities, from when I was a young man in the 1970's, is NOT what or how popular they are ON SCREEN, but what is known or rumored by how they are OFF SCREEN.
    Flash forward to 2019. I NOW lose ALL respect for the many large ego Celebrities who TRASH our President, Donald Trump. Example: For decades I was a huge fan of Robert de Niro. Now that he not only constantly trashes our President and does so with profanity, I can't even stand to re-watch his best movies, The Deer Hunter, Goodfellows, etc. He has ruined himself in my opinion forever. Another example: I was a fan of the TV show Breaking Bad. Then I watched as Bryan Cranston trashed our President, I will NEVER spend a dime to see his new movies, etc. These huge Celebrity EGO people THINK that their opinion is more important than us "Little People" and that they need to US how OUR opinions need to be the same as theirs. They make a complete FOOL of themselves in the process.

  7. I love Crystal, but – I can't help but wish we had a video like this between Robin Williams and Don Rickles – few men had a quicker wit than those two.

  8. This video is hard to watch. Don is old and feeble. I almost feel like Chrystal took advantage of him to make this. Don clearly doesn't know what's going on.

  9. Beautiful Billy Crystal with Don Rickles beautiful moment wow comes once in a lifetime spend time with Don Rickles so awesome rip rip rip Don Rickles may God bless you

  10. i believe he died this same year. not sure why he didn't make it past 90 thought, he was healthy as an oxen with wood lanyards hooked up.

  11. queens, jackson heights, newtown high school in Elmhurst Academy of the Performing Arts. i believe jackson heights is right near long island where crystal is from but I could be wrong on that, I believe also that queens is somewhat adjacent to the Bronx but I could be wrong on that because Yankee Stadium is where Billy Crystal has been before and that would not have been to far from the Bronx and ALSO not too far from Don Rickles in Queens (where he lived in an apartment). While not wealthy, Rickles did get invited to a lot of roasts and was paid the same wages as everyone else that attended those roasts….they were paid scale. Rickles also was very conservative and pretty sure he would not buy anyone meals/dinner when out to eat. I'm not sure if that rumor is true or false, so yea, i want to qualify that.

  12. For an insult comic who was known for edgy and controversial jokes, it speaks volumes that not one of his peers has ever spoke badly about Rickles. Everyone says what a genuinely warm and nice person he was. That’s a testament to the type of human being Don Rickles was. Truly one of a kind. There will never be another like him.

  13. Robin Williams had in Don not just a good friend, but also one of the few people who could even come close to keeping up with him rapid comedy wise.

  14. Now Billy couldn't dress up like Sammy Davis. There would be a f**** riot in the streets. Cuz every body gets hurt by everything nowadays. I'm glad I grew up in the ERA with these guys that ruled the airwaves. men were men and we only had two different bathrooms and genders.

  15. Not only did the giants of the industry respect Don, they loved him. I mean they truly loved him. I'm glad he was able to do these types of things right up till he passed.

  16. Don I believe must`ve started his health problems in 2009,but always kept them a secret,but it was hard for him to hide it.His love for comedy and to entertain people kept him going till the end. Miss this guy.

  17. The GREAT Don! America misses this great man! RIP Don. I hope you are giving all the angels in Heaven stitches with your jokes.

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