This is one of my favorite places, the Palm. I’m mainly doing this for the meal. I don’t care. [Laughing] Where you from, by the way? I’m from Long Island, Syosset, Nassau County. I’m from Jackson Heights. Oh, really? A nice Long Island Jewish boy, I used to go see you at the Westbury Music Fair.>>You’re kidding.
>>That’s right. I used to work at all, all the places on the island. If you didn’t do good down there, you had a lot of trouble. When was the first time you got up and did stand-up? I’m 90 years old, for crying out loud.>>I was…
>>So you were doing strip clubs? No, I, but close. What’s close to a strip club?>>It’s a Melody Club in those days.
>>Yeah. I worked in Bayonne.>>Baseball-right-in-the-mouth kinda place.
>>Yeah. Anything I ever did, nobody ever wrote it for me. Do you know how I know that? I asked to write for you when I first moved to California. I called your representatives and I said, “I’d like to write jokes for Don Rickles.” And they told me no. [Applause] Thank you so much. Nice to see you, Jeff. What do you do for a living, Jeff? Nothing. Nothing.
[Laughing] Good luck to you.. I spoke to the people in Bethlehem. They expect you.
[Laughing] You gonna eat all that? No, I’m not touching that. [Laughing] Who is the comedian that you liked that made you want to be a comedian?>>Jackie Gleason was great.
>>Yeah. He used to come on the stage with me at the Slate Brothers. So that was a, a nightclub in L.A.?>>Yeah.
>>And Lenny Bruce canceled and you filled in? Henry Slate, rest his soul, hired me, and all of a sudden stars were coming to see me. And I always put them down, you know. It was like Magic City. Dom DeLuise, now, can you see him in a health club with that body? Looks like a hard-boiled egg that didn’t break on the dish. [Laughing] Look who came in, an unknown. [Applause] Why is he here? Is the war over? [Laughing] When I was a kid, my grandmother’s best friend was Totie Fields. Oh, I knew Totie well, very well. I used to go around the country and see her perform. And then she had diabetes. She had her leg amputated. She had all these bits about needing to get, like, a spare tire out of her trunk and having her other leg in there and, and the place went crazy. I think somewhere in my head I thought, “Wow, that would, that, this is the best job you could have.” [Laughing] Thank you. Oh, I’m comfortable. That’s it. How, how funny was Totie Fields? Equivalent to like a Joan Rivers. Yeah, yeah. [Laughing] I’ll do it this way. She was considered, uh, one of the top ladies, you know. Was Lenny Bruce as funny as people said he was? Lenny Bruce in his day was considered very funny, but very dirty. What about Dick Gregory? Did you see Dick Gregory back then? Oh, yeah, I knew him. Who was the other guy? The other black star? Oh, Dave Chappelle? No, no.>>Redd Foxx?
>>It was, uh… Willie Tyler and Lester? Will you shut up a minute? What’s his name? It became an open forum with the crew. [Laughing] Will Smith? No, you named everybody but the guy.>>Richie Pryor.
>>Yeah. He, he was good. He was really a clever guy. I have no memory at all right now. Like, when I think about, like, when my kid was 2 and the only thing I can remember is, like, she liked grapes. Like, it all goes away. My kid is in class. There’s 50 kids in the class. So that means there’s 100 parents. It’s 150 people I’m supposed to know, and I know four. And every day I see the parents at school, and they say, “Hi, Judd.” And I say, “What’s up, my man?” But I don’t know what to say to the women because you can’t say, “What’s up, my lady?” And every day I get busted for not knowing anybody’s name. Well, it’s a wonderful, sad story. [Laughing] [♫♪ Music ♪♫] So I used to go see everybody at Westbury Music Fair. Go see you and Totie Fields. I saw Dangerfield back in the day. I wanted to meet comedians. I was trying to figure out how to meet comedians. So I had a radio station at my high school and I started a radio show>>Oh, really?
>>where I would interview comedians. And so the first person I interviewed was Steve Allen, who was very nice to me. And that’s how I learned, uh, how it worked a little bit. Like how to get stage time and how long it would take. People, you know, told me it would take seven years to find myself. And then I started doing stand-up on Long Island. I realized how hairy I was the other day. Ladies, don’t moan. I know it’s gross, but I, uh, I was playing tennis and I looked down and I could see the hair on my back in my shadow. [Laughing] And I was wearing a shirt, too, you know? [Laughing] You, you never did a play or anything? I’m a terrible actor. I once auditioned when I was very young for a TV commercial. When I talked, I kept going like this. I couldn’t stop pointing ’cause I didn’t know how to act. So I kept pointing and the director said, “Can you do it again without pointing?” And I would start and then in the middle I would just, like, start pointing again. I couldn’t stop. And then he took duct tape and he taped my hand to my leg. And then I never acted again. I was really humiliated. I thought maybe that’s not what I do. How’s your acting?>>I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
>>Yeah? Yeah, I was pretty good. You all know me. You, you know what I stand for. You know what I believe in. I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe in the truth in the book of Genesis. But I never got a chance on Broadway, which was, that was my secret dream. That was the dream, Broadway. Now, you know, I saw you once at the Greek. It was Pia Zadora, you, and then Sinatra. And all of my friends said, “We’re gonna go to this show, and we’re gonna make a night of it.” And then we took an enormous amount of psychotropic drugs. We were in the third row, sitting next to Sinatra’s family. I was a very young man, when you would do things like this. I wouldn’t do it now. I have kids. And then the drugs took effect as you went on stage. You pick my friend out of the crowd while he is tripping to do the samurai bit with him. And he is on stage and he looks at us from the stage. And you did that thing where you hugged him but wouldn’t let go. And he looked at us, like, like his mind was melting. I said to my friend, “Do you have any more mushrooms?” And he said, “No, the, that guy’s not around anymore,” because he knew that I had so much fun that I was about to become a drug addict. And so then I never did drugs ever again, thanks to you.>>You never did drugs?
>>Never. Did you have a drinking phase?>>Vodka, yeah.
>>Yeah.>>Well, Sinatra taught me that.
>>Yeah. Were you kind of a boring person? Not till now. [Laughing] I gotta pay for this? No, I’m still eating it if I gotta pay for it. Who pays for this? Oh, just put it down. Don’t look at it. Do you know this is an actual bill? This isn’t even like a prop bill. Right, they’ll take care of it.>>If they can’t take care of it, we walk.
>>OK.>>You know, all kidding aside…
>>Yes. I am really, really delighted that, uh, you were able to do this. Wow! I couldn’t be a bigger fan of yours. Happy and a healthy new year. Now, if I just sat here and ate my chicken parmesan while you sat there, would it be a, a good credit sequence? [Laughing] I literally can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan of Don Rickles. I remember watching “C.P.O. Sharkey.” I remember seeing him live at Westbury Music Fair. And loving hearing stories about real people that he would rip on. I remember seeing him on one of the last “Tonight” shows and he said to Johnny, “Well, good thing you ended it while you’re on top.” I remember looking in Johnny’s eyes and thinking, “I think that hurt him.” And he said, “Yeah, I’m gonna keep talking to Ed because at least he’s got the ‘Star Search’ show.” I also remember he said to somebody, when I was a kid he just, he turned to a lady and he said, “Hey, lady, pull down your skirt. You’re 40.” That, uh, that was graphic for a young man to hear. 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]