This past Friday, I inducted Don Rickles into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in memory of his passing. And now that he's in the Hall, he's in good company with other members of the League Of Themselves......
Here are just a few:
Here's Don on the 'Tonight' show, one of those times when he was hosting. His guests are Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Bob was inducted as the Christmas entry in what I call the "Proto-Hall", before the TVXOHOF actually existed. Bing isn't a member, but I have a feeling that he does qualify, especially with any references to him without actually appearing.
Don as a guest on 'Tonight' with Frank Sinatra and host Johnny Carson. Old Blue Eyes was added to the Hall of Fame on the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2015. A year after his death, Carson was "honored" with his induction in January of 2007.
Don is seen here with Sammy Davis, Jr., who was inducted in February of 2001 to mark Black History Month for that year.
I chose March of 2011 to induct Joan Rivers as a tip of the hat to her directorial effort "Rabbit Test". ("Rabbit Test"... "March Hare".... I regret nothing!)
Bob Costas was inducted with Jim McKay as Toobworld Central's salute to the Olympics in the year of Duos, March 2002.
Walter Cronkite did more than just the news; he even hosted a game show. The Most Trusted Man In America was inducted in November of 2001.
Don Rickles doing a comedy sketch with fellow TVXOHOF members Dean Martin (December 2016) and Roy Rogers (inducted with his wife Dale Evans in May of 2002).
Howard Cosell isn't a member yet, but the day will come. Milton Berle was inducted in May of 2003.
Betty White was inducted on the occasion of her birthday in 2008; I think it was her 85th? But the rate she's going, I could have waited until the 95th, maybe even the 100th!
Don Rickles looks like he's ready to take a snooze with "Cousin" Conan. Conan O'Brien's cartoon version was inducted on my birthday last year.
Danny Thomas was the first new member of last year's theme for the League of Themselves.
Phyllis Diller was also inducted right after she passed away (2012)
Aside from the late night talk shows, I think Dean Martin's Comedy Roasts was his best venue for his barbs.
Don Rickles guesting on 'Tonight' with Johnny's successor, Jay Leno. Leno was NBC's biggest cheerleader which helped him expand his credentials for the TVXOHOF. (January, 2010)
John Stamos was a special Honors entry into the Hall. And all because of one Oikos commercial. (March, 2014)
Steve Lawrence was inducted along with his late wife Eydie Gorme, days after her passing. (2013)
Tony Bennett was inducted last year on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
In a way, Garner is in the Hall twice. Once as Bret Maverick, but as himself after he died. (2014)
If Joey does get into the Hall, it will be as his character of Joey Barnes who had plenty of celebrities on his late night talk show as themselves. But Jack Benny was also a "Proto-Hall" member. He's perhaps the one "televersion" who had a well-developed fictional persona in Toobworld.
Don doing what he does best - sitting on the dais of a Dean Martin Comedy Roast, this time for Lucille Ball. Lucy was inducted as herself in April of 2000, while her three most famous fictional incarnations preceded her in the first three months of that year.
I think it will take a while longer for people to feel the full loss of seeing "Mr. Warmth" on late night. But he is immortalized at his venomous best for future generations to enjoy......