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The Carriage Driver³ - Don Rickles

Updated on April 8, 2017

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.”

Source

“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

© 2017 mckbirdbks

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 weeks ago from North America

      You've outdone yourself this time, Mike. This is wonderful and everyone is right in character - at least the one they always played.

      You know, Jerry Lewis is 91 and cries now when someone mentions Dean Martin, he misses him that much. When Jerry and William Shatner go, it will be the beginning of the final end of an era.

      Congratulations on this carriage ride!

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty - Funny you mention the end of an era. As I was quickly putting this together, it occurred to me that my era was coming to and end. Certainly the passing of Jerry Lewis and William Shatner will be tragic. I wonder who the last important figure of my era is? So many have gone.

      It was fairly easy to recreate Don Rickles. His platform is/was so memorable. Johnny Carson entertained so many of us, and so many people in the limelight were introduced to us on the Carson show.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      OMG, talk about funny, it couldn't get any better. You nailed him, and you brought all the greats together again. What a rip-roaring time they will have. Don expecting a Bentley was brilliant. I've got all the roasts videos, but I'm going to watch them again. Your humor shines! I loved this...Thank you...

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - I mostly remember Don Rickles from the Johnny Carson show, and yes, it was easy to mimic his style. So many of the greats, from Hollywood are gone now. What a shame. To my way of thinking, no one has replaced these people. I can barely tell you the names of the movie stars these days, let alone the comedians.

      I came close to purchasing 'The Best of Johnny Carson' but stopped prior to the finish of the sales pitch. Johnny Carson came on as I was getting home from swing shift, in the olden days.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      I never missed watching The Johnny Carson show. I don't watch the late night shows since Jay quit. I'm with you about not knowing any good comedians, they're all gone. I think I miss George Carlin the most. I'm not up to power with the movie stars these days either. If I'm lucky and catch a good classic on TCM I'm thrilled. Thanks again...

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "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."

      What a riot of a welcoming party for the devilishly delightful Don Rickles - sad to hear of his death.

      I could feel Griffin's smiles all the way here in PA.

      Looking forward to watching the videos later this weekend - those sure were the days when TV was actually funny.

      Are my eyes deceiving me...heading to your F & F hub now. Your muse is clearly on a roll... :) Hugs, mar

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - I did not follow The Late show, after Johnny Carson left. I like Jay Leno's garage, where he shows off all his cars. I am a big fan of TCM and the old movies.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi mar – We have lost some greats in the field of comedy. We do have some new people whose comedy I enjoy, Tina Fey comes to mind. It would be difficult to control yourself in a room with all these comics working to top each other. Glad, Griffin could bring you a smile. The videos are a riot.

      This was an ‘on request’ TCD that will ever only appear here on Hubpages. I had started another one but it is slow going. ‘The Eliots’ – the first TCD story I wrote is the most viewed, and “Seven Cities of Heaven” is the least viewed. The curve is obvious.

      Fauntleroy and Flossy has its own issues.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh -- so clever and heart-warming! And the crowd waiting for him "in the wings" was just perfect. Thank you for my smiles, Mike. This is one of your best.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I can't count the number of times I watched The Tonight Show with Rickles on it, and I howled every single time. The man was a genius standup comic, and one of a kind. Great job!

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna - Thank you , there are some marvelous comedic talent waiting - what a club that would be. If I delivered a smile, then that makes this piece worth it. Happy Saturday.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - The Tonight Show was such a pleasure to catch with Johnny Carson. There are so many that introduced a 'new young' who made it once they appeared on Carson. Don Rickles was a funny man and we need funny men (women) more than ever.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Stage artists, including comedians, always manage to crawl into our hearts. When they go we hurt as if they were our relatives, and we never forget them.

      Nuelle made me smile when she stretched her neck to see if Griffin was smiling.

      Well done, as always!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Those were the days when comedians could say something a little bit risque and not get blasted for it. I could just see old Don snickering at his own jokes as the dialogue played out. Great tribute to a funny man, Mike. You've captured his style and humor. I loved the part where the guys got forty-eight hour paroles to join the party. Sure do miss the Johnny Carson Show. My Dad was a guest way back when Carson hosted "Who Do You Trust." Johnny still had black hair.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie – Thank you. It seems like our generation that holds such affection for those that entertain us and come close to our hearts. There are beloved actors and actresses, like you say, became family.

      This was a quick effort. Don Rickles lived to be ninety years of age. There seems to be some reward for his efforts here on this earth.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg – One thing that was different, to my way of thinking, is that the comedians could make us laugh without swearing for effect. I know that there were those like Lenny Bruce, that did not follow this convention. But for the most part they relied on timing and the news for their material. It was clever, rather than stark. Bob Hope, and Bob Newhart, and so many others made us smile.

      Your Dad was one amazing man. Meeting Johnny Carson, must have been a big day for him. You might have to put your Dad, in a book.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 weeks ago from California

      Mike-you had me guffawing--I don't know that anyone can follow a striptease act

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Audrey - I am not an expert, but i think during the days of Vaudeville, the comics were a warm act for the striptease acts. I guess, I should launch a full scale investigation. Ha

      Thanks for visiting.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Mike, you're so right about the swearing. Their material was funny enough in itself that swearing wasn't necessary. I miss the days of humor like Laugh-In where they had skits and fictional characters that we grew fond of played by folks like Artie Johnson as the little German soldier (Very interesting...), Goldie Hawn (Hippie chick), Lillie Tomlin (Ernestine) and others who made us laugh out loud.

      I wish I were able to capture the life of my Dad in a book. He actually started writing one about the Deep South and was nearly 300 pages into it when he stopped with it unfinished. He said he wrote himself into a corner but it was really good fiction.

      He had some interesting experiences that I wish I knew more about, like the time the submarine sank under him and he and two other guys on deck were the only survivors. I have started a book about his mother but it is very dark. Maybe I'll put a chapter out here to get reactions.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg, The comics that we are most familiar with had some rules to guide them. They used slap-stick, they used, events of the day, and they used timimg to set us up for the joke. Laugh-in was/is a riot. MeTV still plays clips from time to time. I left off some very talented comics that deserved mention. Alan King, Grocho Marxs, Steve Allen to name a few.

      I think you have given yourself a challenge, perhaps you and your brother can take up the book where your Dad left off. See if the project can be ‘unpainted’ out of that corner. I know Kimmie did some work with her Mother and put together, something of a memory book.

      Yes, do post the dark chapter, get some feedback.

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