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Don Rickles, The 'Merchant Of Venom'

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Don Rickles, The 'Merchant Of Venom'

Pop Culture

Don Rickles, The 'Merchant Of Venom'

Don Rickles, The 'Merchant Of Venom'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92908519/92910018" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Don Rickles frequently lent his wit to late-night talk shows, often appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Don Rickles frequently lent his wit to late-night talk shows, often appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

"Hello, dummies!" Insult comedian Don Rickles is still as sharp as ever. At age 82, he just received his first Emmy nomination for his performance on the HBO special Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.

Rickles started his comedy career in 1948, reaching the height of his popularity in the 1950s and 60s, on TV in Vegas. Frank Sinatra was an early fan, and helped get him noticed. His memoir, Rickles' Book is now out in paperback.

This interview was originally broadcast May 22, 2007.