Don Rickles, Frank Sinatra on ‘The Tonight Show’

Share This:

Don Rickles and Frank Sinatra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, November 12, 1976

If you grew up in the days when the classic rock era was actually “current rock,” then you undoubtedly saw scores of appearances by the actor-comedian known as “Mr. Warmth.” We’re talking, of course, about Don Rickles, the insult comic, born on May 8, 1926, in the New York City borough of Queens, and a constant presence on television screens (and occasionally the silver screen).

Most accounts peg his appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson at over one hundred. But he’s also well known for his spots on the various Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, his TV series C.P.O. Sharkey and various feature films, most prominently in Kelly’s Heroes (with Clint Eastwood) and, later, serving as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies.

Rickles, who died at 90 at his home in Los Angeles on April 6, 2017, was beloved for his zingers which he happily offered to anyone he came in contact with, whether it was a first meeting or a fellow guest on Carson.

When news of Rickles’ passing arrived, his fellow comics took to social media to share their grief and appreciation. David Letterman wrote: “Such a professional, such a gentleman. I already miss him.” Mel Brooks, who would know, tweeted: “One of the bravest, funniest, and sweetest guys that ever performed.” More tributes are here.

On November 12, 1976, Frank Sinatra was a guest on The Tonight Show. Carson asks The Voice an interesting question: “When you’re in a romantic mood… when you’re trying to make out… whose records do you put on?” After Sinatra’s answer, and one minute into the clip, Rickles walks in, unannounced.

After Rickles teases Sinatra and Carson for a while, Frank asks Johnny, “Can I tell a story?” It’s at the four-minute mark of our Classic Video.

Watch Don Rickles and Frank Sinatra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. He died at age 82 on May 14, 1998.

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Mick
    #1 Mick 9 May, 2023, 09:47

    Ah! Those were the days. Frank was such a swing-in cat! (snap fingers)

    Reply this comment
  2. 122intheshade
    #2 122intheshade 10 May, 2023, 00:00

    I was fortunate to see Don Rickles do a show in the mid-90s, about the time Frank was doing his final tour. Don was sharp as a razor.

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.