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Don Rickles and Don Adams in 1973 (Getty Images)

In 'Rickles' Letters', 'Mr. Warmth' Goes Postal

Dec 1, 2008 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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The 1950s insult comic Don Rickles made a name for himself — and earned several notable nicknames, including "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth" — by poking fun of audiences and public figures.

His new book, Rickles' Letters, is a collection of imaginary correspondences to a variety of historical and contemporary figures, from Mary Todd Lincoln and Ben Franklin to Santa Claus.

In this segment, Rickles talks about the origins of his comedy and how early audiences responded to his act.

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