Here's a hilarious clip from a 1976 Johnny Carson show with Frank Sinatra as a guest. Just as Johnny nudges Frank to perform another number, Don Rickles comes onstage unexpectedly. The conversation that ensues--actually its really a monologue by Rickles directed at Sinatra--is so funny and so derogatory that its really quite terrifying to watch. Sinatra goes along with it, though. Rickles genius is his absolute inability to back down--in that sense he really was the forerunner of Howard Stern and other "shock" comics. I myself wouldn't say the things he says to Sinatra to any Italian-American, much less the Chairman. Speaking of Stern and Rickles, I've also posted an on-air phone call from Don to Howard. Thank God Rickles didn't lose his balls as he got older and pull that "I always worked clean" crap that Steve Allen and others trafficked in. Rickles likes Stern. Sinatra likes Rickles. Carson and Stern hated each other. I don't know what Sinatra thought of Stern but I doubt he'd have liked him, if for no other reason than the fact that Stern hates all music save the lowest of the 70's rock acts.

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