'The Don Rickles Show': THR's 1968 Review
On Sept. 27, 1968, ABC tried out a new half-hour comedy show at 9 p.m., The Don Rickles Show, which proved to be short-lived. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.
Cut-down comedian Don Rickles threw out his barbed lances over the ABC network in a program which can best be described loosely as a host and a guest format interspersed with insult skits and film clips, "all for fun," as the star explained.
When Rickles could take a moment away from needling his audience, and his announcer, writer Pat McCormick, he used special guest Danny Thomas as the target for his barbs. In a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde parody involving "Mr. Humble," as Rickles referred to Thomas, and a planted heckler in the audience, "nice guy" Thomas acquired the insult attributes of host Rickles.
Film-clip interviews done by McCormick and Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, Joey Bishop, Jonathan Winters, Don Adams and Jimmy Durante was an excellent piece of material, with Joey Bishop's piece a standout.
An interplay between songless songstress Greta Winters and Rickles also was humorously done. Apparently Miss Winters will serve also as target for Rickles' banter.
The show was quick-moving with zingers emanating from Rickles. Producer Mark Goodson has put Rickles in a format in which he is well suited. However, the show will need more than it showed on its premiere to hold its slot, due to a number of factors, not the least of which is ABC's pitching the show against the Friday Night Movies, on CBS, and NBC's Name of the Game, a time slot that would make even the formidable Cartwright family nervous.
Executive producer Vic Wayne, director Dick Carson and musical director Vic Mizzi have a very neat package. — Collette Wood, originally published on Oct. 1, 1968