Jimmy Kimmel has paid tribute to the late Don Rickles.
The 49-year-old American television host gushed about the legendary comedian – who passed away from kidney failure at the age of 90 at his Los Angeles home on Thursday (06.04.17) – in a heartfelt speech, which saw him praise the "funny and sharp and generous" actor as being "too youthful" to die.
Speaking on his show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on Thursday evening (06.04.17), he said: "We lost someone that we and I love very much today … Don Rickles passed away this morning. He was 90 years old. And I know it sounds crazy to say that he was too young – but he was because he was youthful — he was so funny and sharp and generous and I was fortunate enough to — not only have Don on this show as my guest – but also to become close to him and his wife Barbara – which was a lot of fun for me."
The dark-hard funny man idolised the ‘Casino’ star when he was a child, and loved watching the comic mock iconic actors and singers, including the late Frank Sinatra.
Jimmy continued: "I grew up in Las Vegas – so Don Rickles – even when I was a kid – was a very big deal. His name was on the marquee at the Sahara. Then you’d see him with Johnny Carson. Making fun of Johnny – making fun of [Frank] Sinatra."
And Jimmy feels "lucky" he had the chance to meet the star and has credited him as the "greatest talk show guest".
He said: "Sitting behind a desk while Don Rickles made fun of me. It was like being a real talk show host for a minute. "He was a funny guy, I know that’s not a news flash.
"I was lucky to know him.
"He was probably the greatest talk show guest of all time."
And the Brooklyn-born writer and producer has shared his "love and condolences" to Don’s grieving family and friends.
He said: "My love and condolences to Don’s wife Barbara, his daughter Mindy – his stepdaughters – Bob Saget and John Stamos His main man Tony O – Paul Shefrin – There will never be another Don Rickles."