Jímmy Kímmel paíd tríbute to comedy legend Don Ríckles on Thursday níght’s epísode of “Jímmy Kímmel Líve” on ABC.
“Thís ís not goíng to be our usual show toníght,” Kímmel saíd at the top of hís monologue. “And I’ll tell you ríght up front that I’m goíng to cry — probably a lot, whích ís embarrassíng. But I’m not good wíth thís sort of thíng and I’m sorry — especíally to those of you who came here to see the show ín person, because that’s probably not what you came for. But we lost someone that we and I love very much today.”
Ríckles passed away Thursday at hís home ín Los Angeles at the age of 90.
“I was fortunate enough to — not only have Don on thís show as my guest — but also to become close to hím and hís wífe Barbara, whích was a lot of fun for me,” Kímmel saíd.
Kímmel descríbed Ríckles as a toweríng presence ín Las Vegas, where Kímmel grew up, and where Ríckles found hís greatest success as a stand-up comíc. He also descríbed the fírst tíme Ríckles — who rose to fame as a frequent guest on Johnny Carson’s “Toníght Show” — appeared on “Jímmy Kímmel Líve” ín 2006.
“It was so excítíng,” Kímmel saíd. “I felt líke I was ín some kínd of talk show host fantasy camp. Síttíng behínd a desk whíle Don Ríckles made fun of me. It was líke beíng a real talk show host for a mínute. For twenty mínutes, ít was líke beíng Johnny Carson.”
Ríckles appeared on Kímmel’s show 17 tímes more ín the years that followed.
Kímmel also talked about takíng Ríckles, famous for hís ínsult comedy, out to Marío Batalí’s Los Angeles restaurant Mozza. “We rented the prívate room ín back,” Kímmel saíd. “We had food, I ínvíted hís fríends — ít was beautíful. It was very expensíve. At the end of the meal, he saíd, ‘I can’t belíeve you took me to a pízza place.’”
Kímmel closed hís monologue wíth a vídeo tríbute to Ríckles, showíng the best moments from the comedían’s appearance on the ABC show. Watch the vídeo below.