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And now here’s Casey Kasem dressed as Hitler roasting Don Rickles

I was recently researching something when I came across a reference to “Hitler writing all of Don Rickles’ material.” As you can imagine, I instantly forgot about whatever I had been looking for—I knew I had to track this down.

Turns out that the line was a reference to a roast thrown for Don Rickles in 1974 on The Dean Martin Show. Bizarrely, the bit involved Casey Kasem dressing up as Hitler and explaining how pivotal Rickles had been in establishing him—Hitler, not the longtime radio host of America’s Top 40 Countdown—in show business. “Hitler” calls Rickles “a real pussycat” and says that he’s “the only man I know who has bombed more places than I have!”

At the end of the bit, Dean Martin gives the departed Hitler a tasteful Sieg Heil! salute.

This roast of Rickles was broadcast on February 8, 1974, and occurred in the 9th season (!) of The Dean Martin Show, which was an NBC property. Also present at the affair were Kirk Douglas, Phyllis Diller, Telly Savalas, Nipsey Russell, Bob Newhart, and Carol Channing. According to Variety, “Those NBC specials [roasts] were typically hourlong affairs but the Rickles’ roast was so smokin’ that the network let it go 90 minutes.”

I guess Hitler didn’t have any hard feelings about Rickles plundering Nazi gold in Kelly’s Heroes.......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
CPO Punky: Don Rickles meets The Dickies, 1978
09:58 am


Don Rickles
The Dickies

In March 1978, the Dickies made a guest appearance on Don Rickles’ sitcom CPO Sharkey. It was the band’s TV debut and the nation’s first glimpse of the Los Angeles punk scene; it was also an audition for A&M Records’ UK president Derek Green, who was a member of the live studio audience in beautiful downtown Burbank, California. Guitarist Stan Lee recalls how it came to pass in the oral history We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk:

Our only goal was to make a single. John Hewlett came to one of our early shows and told me he thought we were the best band he’d ever seen. I laughed, but then he told me he managed Sparks. I really liked the Kimono My House LP. I thought, “Well, what did you have in mind?” He asked if we had a manager. It didn’t hurt that he was short, British, and charming. He had an instant plan to take us in the studio to cut some tracks for a single on a label he was starting. Soon we were recording at Brothers Studio (the Beach Boys haunt in Santa Monica with Earl Mankey). When we were done he looked at me and said, “This is far bigger than I had imagined. . . I’m gonna take this tape to England and get you a major deal.” I thought, “Okay, what can it hurt?” Island Records was interested, and he had an appointment with Derek Green, president of A&M Records U.K., who’d just kicked the Sex Pistols off the label and was looking for another punk band, preferably one that wouldn’t throw up on them. After hearing the tape, he flew to L.A. with John to see if we were for real and to meet us.

[...] Meanwhile a local TV writer who saw us at the Whisky wrote us into an episode of CPO Sharkey, a nationally syndicated sitcom starring Don Rickles. The timing was perfect. The plane landed at 7 p.m. Hewlett ushered Mr. Green over to NBC by eight o’clock and into the live audience just in time for the taping of the show. Afterward we met, but the checkbook didn’t come out yet. He wanted to see the band live doing a full-length show with a real club audience. We set up a showcase at the Whisky. He showed up with Jerry Moss (the M in A&M). I put them in a booth and told them in my most puffed-up posture, “You have no business in the record business if you don’t sign this band.”


Sharkey and Pruitt meet the doorman at the Pits
In the episode, punks beat up two of Sharkey’s men (Skolnick and Kowalski) for talking to a 17-year-old girl named Quinine at a punk club called the Pits. When Chief Robinson explains punk rock to Sharkey, you get to hear how the new form was understood by people of showbiz in 1978:

ROBINSON: Well, it’s a new thing in music. It’s a bunch of kids rebelling against rules, authority and styles. You know, they’re against everything!
SHARKEY: What are they, commies?
ROBINSON: No, they wear crazy clothes and makeup. I read where some of the girls hang things like razor blades from their earrings.
SHARKEY: No kidding! Hey, a guy could whisper in a broad’s ear and wind up with a nose job! Sounds wild!


Punks pogo at The Pits
The seamen visit The Pits, where the Dickies mime an abbreviated version of “Hideous” and an instrumental “I’m OK, You’re OK” before more violence erupts. The rest of the episode concerns Quinine’s desire to pogo with Sharkey, and Sharkey’s desire to soothe her worried mother (played by Charlotte Rae of The Facts of Life).

The Dickies play “Hideous” on CPO Sharkey, 1978
Watch the full episode, “Punk Rock Sharkey,” here.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Hockey puck! Jack Kirby meets… Don Rickles?
09:00 pm


Jack Kirby
Don Rickles
Jimmy Olsen
"Goody Rickels"

Behold what is perhaps the most perplexing comic book cover of all time. In 1971, when Jack “King” Kirby left Marvel for DC Comics, he took over the Jimmy Olsen (“Superman’s Pal”) title. It’s hard to imagine a more dull comic franchise for the co-creator of Spider-man and the Fantastic Four to be assigned, but the story was that Kirby didn’t want to take anyone’s job when he arrived at DC, so Jimmy Olsen is what he got. And then he promptly turned it inside out, as should be obvious from this preposterous cover featuring, uh… Don Rickles??? That’s right HOCKEY PUCK, Don Rickles, who in this (and one more issue) is seen fighting off his alternate world doppelganger, “Goody Rickels.”

So weird. I mean, why Don Rickles and not… like Bob Newhart or Shelly Berman???

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Don Rickles And Nina Hagen On Merv Griffin

RicklesHagen.  Two great tastes that taste great together.  “Individual God Identity?”  VD humor?  Oh, mid-eighties daytime television, I so miss your zany spontaneity!

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment