Insult comic Don Rickles will be honored at the second annual Comedy Awards with the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence.
The now 85-year-old Rickles gives credit to Johnny Carson for giving him his big break on the ‘Tonight Show,’ in 1965. Since then Rickles made several appearances on Carson’s show.
Before becoming a standup comedian in the 50’s, Rickles served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Two years after being honorably discharged from the service, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts at the same time as trying to pick up small television acting parts.
Not getting enough television work Rickles decided to give standup comedy a try. He developed his ‘insult comic’ style due to the fact he would respond back to hecklers during his act, and the audience liked his comebacks to the hecklers more they did his act.
Rickles considers Bob Newhart as his best friend and the two, along with their wives often vacation together.
The Comedy Awards are created by Comedy Central and are the second attempt by them to have a special awards show for comedians, the first was called the Commie Awards, which ran once in 2003.
At the first award show in 2011, David Letterman was given the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence. This year Jon Stewart will present Rickles the award. The Comedy Awards will air on May 6th.