The Carriage Driver³ - Don Rickles
Da Don Da, Da, Da, Doona, Da, Da, da, da. “Here’s Johnny!”
“We have an exciting show tonight, our guests include, Toto the dog, Phoebe the bird, Tiny Tim and the fabulous Mr. Don Rickles.”
Forty minutes later, Johnny announces from his desk, with a pencil drum roll, “Mr. Don Rickles!”
Don walks out points to the gallery as he takes his seat, “Why don’t you just have a mural picture of a circus painted instead of looking at those faces. What’s the meaning of keeping me waiting, what’s the big deal about Toto the dog? Ruff-ruff and walking on his hind legs.” He put his hands out in front like dog paws and said ruff-ruff and stood and hopped in a circle. “Now, that’s entertainment. What’s the matter Johnny, slow booking day? Everybody over at Merv Griffin’s house? Maybe Hugh is having a party? Maybe Toto can go over there and chase the Bunnies.”
The audience laughed.
Don yelled, “Oh, sorry, did I wake you. Just wait the bird is still coming your way. The bird, I’ll give you the bird.”
Doc Severinsen played a few notes on his trumpet as a lead in to a commercial.
“We’ll be right back,” announced Johnny.
After the break, Dean Martin staggered out from behind the curtain. Doc Severinsen, quick on the uptake, played a few notes of introduction, from the Dean Martin show.
Don Rickles took one look at Dean, and put his thumb up and made it to look like he was tipping a bottle to his mouth and rolled his eyes.
“Ahhhhhhhhh, Mr. Warmth himself,” Dean told him.
“Johnny, did you book this guy tonight, or does he just need money for booze.” He looked over at Ed McMahon, “I know that is why you’re here.”
Dean turned away from the camera and took a drink from a pint in his jacket pocket and returned the pint to his pocket and sat down.
“Would you look at that, I have to drink my booze, from an NBC coffee mug, and he is gulping down Red label, from the bottle.”
“No, no, no,” Johnny chimed in, thinking of his sponsors, and the FCC. “We’ll be right back.” Doc Severinsen played in the commercial.
“Our next guest tonight, is Tiny Tim.” The audience applauded. Tiny Tim entered carrying a small ukulele.
Don shouted, “Look there, a gay guitar.”
Dean spits his drink onto the stage setting.
“So, Don, you are working the Bamba room at the Golden Flamingo.”
“Yeah, it beats working at The Place in Encino. At least I get free drinks, and there are places to hide from the wife. The down side, I was the comedian, but the rest of the shows were striptease artists. You try following a striptease artist.”
Tiny Tim strummed his ukulele. Which of course got a laugh from the audience.
Don leaned forward to say something, but Johnny was quick to say, “No, no, no.”
Griffin groomed Nuelle for this special trip. Once ready, he went and waited for his special fare to arrive. Griffin saw the well groomed young comic who walked toward him and stepped down. He extended his hand and Don stepped up into the carriage.
When settled, he said, “A carriage after sixty years of comedy, they send a carriage for me. Look at that horse. I was expecting a Rolls-Royce, at the minimum a Bentley. Where are you taking me? This doesn’t look like first class accommodations to me. Where’s Johnny? At the very least I thought Johnny would be here to greet me. And who are you? They sent a homeless man after me. Are the cops after us? Did you steal this carriage? What the hell, is that a castle? Is this some kind of medieval nightmare? Are you taking me to some kind of dungeon? I wore my best suit.”
Nuelle stretched her neck and looked around. She mostly wanted to see if Griffin was smiling.
The two of them had received word that the party was ready. Indeed, Johnny was waiting and warming up the crowd who included George Carlin, Robin Williams, John Candy, Rodney Dangerfield, Jonathan Winters, and John Ritter.
Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, and Dean Martin were given forty-eight hour paroles to attend.
Don Rickles - The Tonight Show 1989
Don Rickles last interview with Johnny Carson in May 1992 - part 1
Don Rickles last interview with Johnny Carson in May 1992 - part 2
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