Don Rickles and Jimmy Kimmel go way back. Rickles appeared 18 times on Kimmel Live!, and often invited the talk show host to dinner afterwards with Rickles’ wife, Barbara, and Bob and Ginny Newhart.
Kimmel described the dynamic between the men, best friends for decades, as Bob sitting there nervously while “you embarrass him.”
In 2013, AARP brought the two great pals together on stage for the first time at an event in Las Vegas.
“If Hitler had lived, Bob would have chatted him up ... that’s how polite Bob is,” Rickles quipped before a full house of AARP members.
The two men met through their wives. Barbara Rickles invited the Newharts to catch Rickles’ lounge act at the Sahara, where they had the misfortune of sitting in the first row.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Rickles said, “here’s the stammering comedian from Chicago and his hooker from Bayonne.”
The Newharts burst into laughter and the rest is history.
Kimmel described Rickles as probably the greatest talk-show guest of all-time — and one who gave him the best career advice he’s ever received.
“Before [my] show, I’d go out and speak to the audience, and do a bit of a warm-up,” Kimmel told Rickles. “You told me I was blowing the energy because the audience had already seen me. I haven’t done it since. You were absolutely right.”
Funny and wise.
Watch 'Dinner with Don'
The series was produced by AARP Studios, Winbrook Entertainment and Stamper Lumber Company.