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tv special | See All (1) »

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12 December 1972 (USA)  »

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Alive and Kicking in the U.S.A.
Performed by the chorus
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Disappointing
5 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this TV special on the "Don Rickles TV Specials" DVD, and it was a real letdown. I should mention that I'm a Don Rickles fan, but this special doesn't do him justice. Part of the problem is that this, along with another special on the set ("The Many Sides of Don Rickles") shoehorn him into sketches that don't take advantage of his persona. Aside from the sketch where he played a United Nations security guard that tried his hardest not to lose his temper, the sketches here could really star any comedian and it wouldn't make much difference. There are also a few musical numbers in here that aren't funny at all, and seem to exist solely to let Juliet Prowse show off. When someone upstages Don Rickles (who should control the room), you know you've got a dud special on your hands.

The only highlight is the post-title segment, where Don (as himself) just riffs on one audience member after another. It's the kind of thing that made him famous, and shows him at his best. In all honesty, I could've just watched this for an hour, since he's so good at improv and there's a lot of variety in his insults so it's not one-note. But sadly, this only lasts about five minutes before we launch into generic variety show fluff.


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