Don Rickles was married 52 years. That’s 52 years of material for the master of the insult. His wife, Barbara Rickles, was a saint. How else to explain her willingness to being subjected to this for more than five decades:
"My Jewish wife was supposed to come with me today, but she couldn't get off the bed ... the jewelry was too heavy."
"If you want to pop the wife, gotta do what the Jews do; circle the bed first then get an estimate.”
"Now my wife just lays on the bed and goes, 'Is that about it?'"
"My wife only sits at our Malibu home shining her jewelry and signaling ships."
"I married a Valium."
Jonathan Silverman, 51, of Broadway Bound and Weekend at Bernies fame, knew Rickles most of his life. His father, a rabbi, was good friends with the comedian for decades. He even presided over the wedding of Rickles’ daughter, Mindy. And Don once guest-starred on an episode of Silverman’s The Single Guy.
When the two men talk about Barbara over dinner in LA, Rickles’ eyes twinkle in ways that even Silverman can’t help but notice. It was a twinkle that says, “Thanks for putting up with me. I love you.” His final tweet was even about her.
Pussycat? You betcha.
Watch 'Dinner with Don'
The series was produced by AARP Studios, Winbrook Entertainment and Stamper Lumber Company.