Legendary funnyman Don Rickles, who almost singlehandedly made the put down into an art form with his unique brand of acerbic, caustic, and yet somehow irresistibly charming wit, is captured in all his hilarious glory in various projects in the Time Life release Mr. Warmth! Don Rickles The Ultimate TV Collection.
Enjoying a career that spans almost 60 years, Don Rickles remains one of the last vestiges of an old school Hollywood, in which even though Rickles was the court jester, still somehow lorded over the universe as a monarch. No one was spared his playful yet acidic verbal wrath; entire rooms filled with Tinseltown’s A-list would be mowed down one by one like a domino effect when Rickles started cooking. And there was hardly a moment where he would be anything but razor-sharp no matter what he did, be it on stage commanding the proceedings, film, in which he mainly made small appearances but always with the touch of comic relief, and television, where he also tackled pretty much every genre the medium had to offer to varying degrees of success while always remaining true to the Rickles legend.
And it’s some of the best work Rickles ever did in his television career that’s showcased on this 8-DVD collection. Containing 4 specials, filled to the brim with some of the cream of Hollywood’s crop, like Johnny Carson, John Wayne, Dean Martin, longtime pal Bob Newhart, Carroll O’Connor, Jack Klugman, and scores more, showcasing not only Rickles’ already known and solidified talents but also his unexpected propensity for delving into the song, dance, and drama department, the specials, uncut and unreleased for years, are an interesting examination into the wide scope of talent Don Rickles was able to manifest.
The collection is rounded out by the complete collection of CPO Sharkey, the naval sitcom in which Rickles had starred on NBC during the mid 1970s to mild success at the time, but has remained a curio and sort of highlight in the man’s career at present date. The show, in which Rickles was able to let loose around a game cast of characters, has all 37 episodes included in this collection, uncut and as they originally aired almost 40 years ago.
Bonus materials are plentiful on Mr. Warmth! and they include outtakes and unreleased scenes, Don’s fun introductions made for this release, the now-legendary 1976 clip when The Tonight Show‘s Johnny Carson made an unexpected and hilarious visit to the CPO Sharkey set, and Don receiving the TV Land Legend Award from Jimmy Kimmel.
A great hilarious collection which not only showcases one of the greatest showmen ever to make us laugh and who continues to do so as he creeps into his ninetieth year of life next May, but also plays out like a who’s who of Hollywood in the 1970s. A fun time capsule and with a refreshing sort of non-PC approach in the material included herein, but done in such a disarming and delightful way that it becomes anything but the sort of gristle and bristle for controversy and ruffled feathers. If anything, it’s ribbing with rubber arrows that still hit the mark, playful jabbings that ripple effect to create side-splitting hilarity for hours and hours, a formula employed by The Ultimate TV Collection, again and again. Highly recommended for anyone who likes to laugh, loudly, and often.
You can pick up Mr. Warmth! Don Rickles The Ultimate TV Collection over at Amazon.