Recorded live at the Hotel Sahara, Las Vegas, Nevada. Originally released by Warner Brothers in 1968.
Personnel: Don Rickles (spoken vocals).
He may not have been the first "insult comic," but Don Rickles was undeniably the definitive one. This 1968 release captures the prince of the putdown in his element, lambasting helpless audience members (and any public figure on whom he might cast his sights) at the Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas. Decades after the fact, Rickles' sarcastic barbs don't seem quite as vicious as they did at the time, but they've lost none of their humorous impact.
Though he wasn't a political comedian, Rickles had no reservations about playing both sides against the middle on topics like race relations (an issue even more charged in the late '60s than it is now) and international conflicts. The biggest laughs come when Rickles lowers the boom on the Sahara crowd, thriving on spontaneous interplay with his willing victims.