Jersey comics and club owners remember Don Rickles
The New Jersey comedy community mourns the death comic legend Don Rickles including some who performed with him.
Suzy Yengo, owner of the Catch A Rising Star chain, called Rickles "the only man whose insults were a great honor, one of the all time greats." Comedy Cove owner Gene Nagel said "there's no shelf life on Don Rickles he's timeless."
Glenn Stuart, lead singer from the B Street Band, "I remember watching the Tonight show once. He was guest hosting, and went out in the audience to do his shtick. Low and behold the person he picked on out of the crowd was the one and only Paul Venier."
Venier, now the "Comedy Tornado" used to be in a very popular Jersey band called Salty Dog came on New Jersey 101.5 and told the story in the video above of how when he was with the band, he became friends with Rickles' son, Larry, who got them together in Atlantic City. It was there that Rickles brought the young singer on stage and together they created a bit that they would use later when Rickles hosted the Tonight Show. The bit was so good that afterwards Rickles asked Venier if he'd ever thought of being a comedian. That conversation would eventually change his life and career.
Carlo Bellario, a Jersey comedian opened for Rickles about a year and a half ago at the Bergen PAC. "The best phone call a comedian could ever get. When I met him, I almost fell to my feet and later cried." The best way to describe Rickles, says Venier, "he was a warm hearted insult artist."
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