Don Rickles, 86, attended a June 7th American Film Institute tribute to Shirley MacLaine, which is to be telecast on TV Land on June 24th, during which he made a joke about President Obama that will be cut out when it airs.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, while on stage entertaining the crowd with some of his insults he said, “I shouldn’t make fun of the blacks. President Obama is a personal friend of mine. He was over to the house yesterday, but the mop broke.”
Leaving some wondering if the joke was too racially charged. “It’s not going to make it on the air — that’s all I’ll say about it,” says a spokesperson for the cable channel, which presented Rickles with its Legend Award in 2009.
One time Rickles co-star from “The Unit,” Dennis Haysbert, who once played the president on Fox’s “24” and currently is the Allstate insurance spokesman, and was also present at the tribute said when asked if he thought the joke was racial or just Rickles? He just replied, “I thought what Don said about me was very funny.”
Rickles picked on several famous people during his monologue, targeting MacLaine herself he said, “Shirley, I never read your books, and I don’t plan to.” Adding, “I know your brother (Beatty) very well, and I never liked him.”