“While I didn’t know Don Rickles, I did have the incredible honor to meet him once backstage at the Emmys; we were both up for Best Host of a Variety Show, and the better one of us one,” Colbert said. “I went over to congratulate him when he was doing his photos backstage with his Emmy, and our show The Colbert Report had just won for writing, and he hugged me and told me I was good. And I felt like a made man. Because we all should have his career and be who he was.”
Seth Meyers also honored Rickles, “one of the all-time greats,” on Late Night, where the host again shared his often-told story about the comedian. A few years ago, Meyers, then still a cast member on Saturday Night Live, attended a party and saw Rickles sitting alone. “I said to myself, ‘I will always regret it if I don’t go over and say hello to Don Rickles,'” Meyers reminisced.
“And I went over and said, ‘Mr. Rickles, I just wanted to say hello, my name is Seth Meyers. I’m on Saturday Night Live,’ and he just looked at me and said, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry to hear Saturday Night Live was canceled.’ And I was like, ‘It wasn’t canceled.’ And then he went, ‘Ugh. A guy can dream.'”
“I remember thinking, ‘There’s nothing better than being burned by Don Rickles,'” Meyers said.