Classic clip of Don Rickles roasting Clint Eastwood proves comedy just isn’t the same anymore
Don Rickles was a legend. 😂
D.G. Sciortino

When you think of roastmasters today, you probably think of RoastMaster General Jeff Ross.

But before Comedy Central started roasting celebrities on national television in 1998, the New York Friars Club had been holding roasts since 1950.


But comedic icons like Don Rickles didn’t need to wait to be invited to a roast to dig into one of his buddies.

The insult comic was ready to lay into the biggest names in showbiz even at celebratory events like that time when Clint Eastwood one an AFI Life Achievement Awards in 1996.

Rickles was a stand-up comedian and actor that passed away in 2017.

Rickles became known as an insult comic after the way he would handle hecklers in the crowd and incorporated it into his act.

Rickles pretended he was going to congratulate Eastwood for winning his award before launching into his routine.

The AFI Life Achievement Award was established in 1973 by the American Film Institute.

The award honors an actor for their lifetime contribution to “enriching American culture through motion pictures and television.”

When Rickles stood up to speak, he really let Eastwood have it.

Eastwood is an actor, director, producer, and composer, who gained fame in spaghetti Western flicks and is best known for his role as Dirty Harry. Eastwood also won an Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture for 1992’s Unforgiven and 2004’s Million Dollar Baby.

‘”I must say I’m here to honor Merv Griffin. Merv has been a dear friend of mine. And I love his hotel. I think he’s a helluva guy and it’s a great treat for me to be here for Merv,” Rickles said as the crowd roared.

John W Hardin - YouTube
John W Hardin - YouTube

Then he started ripping into the food.

“I just wanna say those of you that ate the fish, you’re gonna die,” he said.

Next, he finally addressed the honoree.

“Clint, I say with due respect, 28 years ago we did Kelly’s Heroes together and I haven’t heard from you since,” Rickles said.

Then he started getting a bit mean.

“Clint, I say it, nobody else has said it, and I say it from my heart. You’re a lousy actor.”

Even actor Jim Carrey seemed to think that one was hilariously harsh.

John W Hardin - YouTube
John W Hardin - YouTube

“Clint’s idea of a good time is sitting on a pickup truck watching his dog bark,” Rickles said. “Mother Eastwood is laughing knowing you never had so much money in your damn life. Your son played the base we sat through that. Now your daughter will probably come up here and do the tango.”

John W Hardin - YouTube
John W Hardin - YouTube

He then threatened Eastwood with some alleged dirt he had on him before reminding him of his age.

Next, he laid into Eastwood’s then-fiance wishing her the best of luck.

Apparently, Rickles thought he would need it. Eastwood is twice divorced and has eight known children by six women.

Rickles had some real zingers in there, to say the least.

Check out the classic clip for yourself in the video below!

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By D.G. Sciortino
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.