But I’ve known you since I was a little boy. You would invite us every year to your break-the-fast parties. I don’t know why you’d invite us, but we would come and we had a, we… ‘Cause they said you were important. Did I realize you were nobody?>>I didn’t know.
>>You didn’t know. You didn’t know. When I became an actor, a professional actor, I was in my senior year of high school. I moved to New York. I, I did a, a series of plays on Broadway for Neil Simon. But you always, uh, stood, in the back of my mind as the, the ideal, uh, mensch of a professional in this business. So you’ve always been so, uh, uh, kind to everyone that I’ve ever seen you meet, and I owe you a great deal of gratitude. Jon, shut up. OK.
[Laughing] [♪♫ Music ♫♪] If I remember the story correctly, this probably was in the mid-’70s, you helped raise a whole bunch of money for my father’s synagogue. My dad came over to your house. How old is he now? He’s 93. I didn’t know anybody was older than me. Yeah, there’s a few people older than you. He showed up at your house bouncing a basketball. He went up to your son, Larry, and he said, “Hey, Larry, how would you like it if the school at our synagogue is named the, the Don Rickles gym? Would you like that?” And you saw the smile on his face and you said, “OK, what do you want from me, rabbi?” “I’ll do whatever you want.” And you put together a whole bunch of, uh, of your famous pals to show up for this fundraiser at the music center downtown. And you raised a fortune and you helped build the third and fourth stories. And there’s still a plaque there at the temple, uh, the Don Rickles Gymnasium. Oh, it’s still there. I don’t, I don’t go there anymore, but I’m assuming it’s still there.>>Oh, yeah.
>>Why wouldn’t it be? The great thing that I must say to you, really, from my heart, really: Please don’t call me anymore. [Laughing] But I remember in the hospital right after the heart operation, I was the first guy, remember? And I came and I leaned over the bed and you said, “I’m gonna live.” And I took the pillow… [Laughing] Anyway… You know, Mindy and I went to first grade together at the Akiba Academy at Sinai Temple.>>Well, she’s doing stand-up now.
>>She’s doing stand-up. It’s the family business. I might go become a rabbi one day, so it… Not the way you talk. Forget it. No, no. The shul will empty out in 20… Yeah, I married a French-Canadian Irish girl. Really? Did he… She’s a nice girl. Did your father have a holster under the tallis? [Laughing] The reason my mother always said marry a Jewish girl is because life and love is tough enough. Sure. She always said, “When you marry in the same faith, it makes life a little easier.” And then I’m married to my wife of 51 years and she was so wrong. [Laughing] So wrong. I, I’m married 10 years, and I got a great wife. And last night, you know, the erector set, I got a little excited. So I said, “Pussy cat.” [Laughing] And she put a bowl of milk under the bed. [Laughing] I’m having soup. That’s good.>>Yeah.
>>That’s good. None of that looks kosher. Thank you very much. Thank you. I’m not, I’m not gonna tell my dad. He came over the house once, the rabbi. Yeah. And we opened the Frigidaire and there was bacon in there. And he said, “Oh, my God, it’s bacon.” [Laughing] You were never in the service, were you? I, no, uh-uh. You were in the Navy. Let’s put it this way. I was the, uh, MC of the ship. Yeah. And there were two Jews on the ship. One was louder than me. “Rickles, the boat’s here.” “We’re gonna go to the shul.” I went, “Oh, geesh.” And I used to say, “Will you shut up, you schmuck?” Did you, did you feel any antisemitism, uh, in, in the service?>>Oh, sure…
>>You got some. When I first went in, yeah. Sure. And I had one Italian guy that used to take care of me. If a guy said to me, “You know, you’re Jewish.” And he would say, “Why, you don’t, you don’t like Jews?” For no reason. You know, I’d say, I’d say, “Tony, shut up.” “He don’t mean any harm.” “I don’t, I don’t like the way he said that to you.” You know, but you build a personality and then that disappears. You’re a big son of a gun. My God, you ever think of putting a window on your face and becoming a building? [Laughing] That’s a good one, huh, Sarge? [Laughing] Don, you’ve been doing this for a very long time. Do you get nervous before showtime? There’s always a little tension. Will they enjoy me?>>You know, you’re selling yourself.
>>Of course. But when the light goes on, you gotta be there and make them laugh. Every night the show changes somewhat, but, uh, it’s a basic beginning, middle and ending. You have to have that. When you are on stage and you begin to pick someone out, do you, do you scout them before the show?>>No. My instinct says…
>>>Yeah. this is a guy I, or a woman I should talk about.>>OK.
>>Yeah. And it just happens. It just happens right on the spot? Yeah. What, what do you do, son, for a living? Work for a savings and loan. Savings and loan. Ah, you’ve got a Jewish mind. [Laughing] Are you married? Yes, I am. Wanna go to a party? [Laughing]
No. You’re a Jew, right? With that nose, if you’re not, you’re a Buick. Look at the nose on that son. [Laughing] I had the pleasure of working with you once. Uh, 20 years ago I did a sitcom that lasted for a few seasons.>>Yeah.
>>And you came on and played the dad of my best friend. It was called, “The Single Guy.”>>Jonathan.
>>Hi there, Doc. I finally read your novel.>>Oh, yeah?
>>Very, very good. Oh, thanks.>>You’re quite a talent.
>>Thank… But you were terrific. The episode was fantastic. I think they canceled us about three days after you did the show. But, uh, but it wasn’t your fault. [♫♪ Music ♪♫] Is there anything you would ever do different if you had the chance to go back in time? Is there anything you would change about your life or your career? If I had the education, I think I could have been a good psychiatrist, because even on the stage today, I can read people pretty good. You might have been Dr. Don Rickles.>>Well, yeah, but I had trouble spelling “doctor.”
>>Yeah. You have children? Uh, we don’t have children, but we are going to try to begin to have a family. You see, what you gotta do, you gotta get in bed. It has to be bed? You can do it on the floor.>>All right. OK.
>>I don’t care. OK.
[Laughing] Gotta go, “Yay, Israel!,” you know.
[Laughing] You gotta make love like the Jews. “Shirley, you start. I’m gonna a get a paper.” [Laughing] That’s the best advice anyone’s ever given me. Thank you. We’ll name our first child Don, boy or girl. Oh, please, Jesus. But having the chance to talk to you has, has meant the world to me, and, and you’ve meant the world to me and ever since I was a little boy. So thank you so very much for everything. I, I love you so very much. Well, thank you, Jonathan, and I wish I could repeat what you just said but I don’t feel that way about you. [Laughing] Thank you.
[Applause] You know, my, my dad and Don have been friends since they were probably in their early 30s. They both love life. They both love working. I remember, you know, seeing Don, you know, in 1985, and he’d be, you know, running up and down the, the, the steps and the stage. And the fact that he’s still doing it, that he has not retired, and he won’t stop. He has it. My dad has it. Call it what you want. I, I, I think it’s an amazing quality. 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 waitin’ on? What did he say? [Laughing]