Don Rickles: Merchant of Venom
Don Rickles was known by a variety of nicknames on his way to the top of Stand-Up Comedy, from “The Merchant of Venom” to “Mr. Warmth,” his brand of insult comedy bringing him broad acclaim. He was an only child born in 1926 to Etta and Max Rickles and raised in Queens, New York. Don’s early years were spent between making people laugh and attempting to carve a niche for himself in the world. His father wanted him to settle down with a nine-to-five job, while his mother offered support for Don’s theatrical pursuits. Don started performing in clubs, engaging with the audience in interactions where Don would make crowds laugh while verbally lashing them. His tireless work ethic and boundless enthusiasm served him well over the six decades he labored in the often unforgiving universe of show business.
Don Rickles: The Merchant of Venom is a thorough and engaging portrait of a titan of comedy and show business. Author Michael Seth Starr(“Shatner”) hits a home run with his wonderful and incisive memoir of the curmudgeonly comedian with a heart of gold. Those familiar with the late comedian for his stand-up or his movie roles(“Toy Story,” “Casino) will appreciate this excellent work.
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