Politically IncorrectPublished by Joyce Jones on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm.
Comedian Don Rickles is old-school and built a career on his acerbic wit. In fact, there was a time when he could get away with saying anything to get a laugh, including racist comments. Not anymore.
At an American Film Institute tribute to actress Shirley MacLaine last Thursday, “Mr. Warmth,” as he is known, insulted President Obama in a joke that received a cold reception, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I shouldn’t make fun of the Blacks,” the 86-year-old said. “President Obama is a personal friend of mine. He was over to the house yesterday, but the mop broke.”
It’s not his first attempt at humor at the Obama’s expense. Soon after Obama won his 2008 presidential election, Rickles, in an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, joked about Obama playing basketball in the White House, which also was not received well.
“It was a joke as were the other comments Don made that night,” said a Rickles representative of the latest incident. “Anyone who knows him knows he’s not a racist.”
Politically correct humor is probably an oxymoron to Rickles and many people will likely give Rickles, an equal opportunity insulter who spares no one, including himself, a pass. At his age, it’s unlikely that the old dog is prepared to learn new tricks. But he is old enough to know that when it comes to the president, regardless of who’s occupying the White House, he needs to bite that acerbic tongue, especially if he’s one of “the Blacks.”