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Don Rickles, legendary insult comic, dead of kidney failure at 90

20 April 2017, 08:26 | Anna Nguyen

Jimmy Kimmel paid a heartfelt tribute to his friend Don Rickles, who died Thursday at age 90.

Rickles died of kidney failure on Thursday at his home here, his publicist Paul Shefrin said.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live" filmed after news of the comedian's death broke earlier in the day and the host devoted the first 12 minutes of his show to Rickles' memory. In fact, he struggled to hold back the tears and got very emotional.

The 90-year-old helped insult comedy become mainstream, and once said he turned to insulting people because he was bad at telling traditional jokes.

Kimmel thought this was amusing because he believed Don Rickles should be the one boosting him, not the other way around. The relationship here feels nearly reminiscent of David Letterman and Regis Philbin, one of the greatest guests that he had on his show so many times.

Before screening a tribute video of all of Rickles' appearances on the show, Kimmel added, "There will never be another Don Rickles".

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Adams and Rickles were lifelong friends.

"I'm going to cry - I'm crying already", a visibly distraught Kimmel said.

"I think there's nothing better than getting burned by Don Rickles", said Meyers.

Kimmel said Rickles "made fun of everybody".

TV execs tried to cash in on his popularity with "The Don Rickles Show" in 1972 but it was short-lived. When my uncle Frank passed away, I called [Don] and asked him to be the guest on that show.

Though they never met, Stephen Colbert took a moment during his Late Show monologue to honor the late comedian. No one was exempt, not even the mobsters who ran the joints - but luckily he made as many laugh as he humiliated and he was allowed to continue. "So God bless you, Don Rickles and thank you". Married to his wife - I don't know - 120 years, something like that. "People always wanted to hear Don tell Sinatra stories... but I told Don - this is honestly I how felt - the Sinatra stories are great, but if Sinatra was here, I'd be asking him for stories about you". "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family".

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