Don Rickles.

The National Comedy Center Announces Don Rickles Archive Preservation

Don Rickles.
Don Rickles. Courtesy of the National Comedy Center.

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, has acquired the personal archives for comedy legend Don Rickles

The Center announced today that they will be preserving the Rickles collection, which chronicles his six decades in show business, from the 1950’s to the 2000’s.

What to know about the Don Rickles Preservation at the National Comedy Center.

According to the press release, the “centerpiece of the collection is a remarkably thorough and intimate documentation of Rickles’ career in comedy in more than 40 photo and memorabilia albums assembled by the comedian and his wife, Barbara. These hand-crafted books meticulously chronicle Rickles’ hard-won rise to fame as a young comic honing his craft, track his extraordinary success as a Las Vegas fixture, and culminate with his later years as the comedy community’s beloved elder statesman, as represented from his first-person perspective.”

“A new display now on view at the National Comedy Center’s state-of-the-art museum in Jamestown, New York features iconic items from the Rickles collection, including a stage-worn tuxedo and a neon caricature of the comedian that appeared as on-stage décor during his live performances,” the press release continues. “A special highlight is an interactive feature that “insults” museumgoers with never-before-heard audio recorded by Rickles shortly before his passing. The Rickles artifacts are presented alongside the Center’s exhibit on the art of the roast.

“’Mr. Warmth,’ ‘The Merchant of Venom,’ ‘The Emperor of Insult’ – by any name and by any measure, Don Rickles was an extraordinary artist who brought laughter to millions over six decades,” stated National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson. “Rickles’ comedy was relentlessly funny – he was a true original, beloved by his audiences and by the comedy community.”

“To be insulted by Don Rickles was a badge of honor,” added Gunderson. “Now his fans can visit the museum to honor his legacy and be ‘insulted’ by Rickles themselves.”

“My father loved nothing more than to make people laugh. His work and his audiences meant everything to him,” stated daughter Mindy Rickles, who donated the collection.  “So, I could not be more pleased to donate this personal collection to the National Comedy Center, where fans of my dad, and all who love comedy, can see artifacts from his career that he treasured so much.” 

We love that there’s a whole exhibit honoring Don Rickles and his stories career. Definitely worth a visit to Jamestown!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.