That Time Don Rickles Insulted The Beatles

The Beatles’ second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was to take place at their Miami Hotel, the Deauville, on 16 February. Ahead of it they undertook a series of rehearsals. In the evening they stayed at the hotel, enjoying the entertainment at the hotel’s nightclubs. They watched comedians Don Rickles, who passed away this week at age 90, and Myron Cohen and singer Carol Lawrence.

Probably everyone has heard of Don Rickles now, but we hadn’t in those days, and he was playing in the Deauville Hotel where we stayed. He was a vicious type of comedian. He would say, ‘Hello, lady, where are you from?’ and she’d say, ‘Oh, I’m from Israel.’ He’d go to another table, ‘Where are you from?’ They’d say, ‘Germany,’ and it’d be: ‘Nazi, get out! What the hell is this?’ – Ringo Starr, Anthology

Even The Beatles weren’t exempt from Rickles’ act.

We were all on one table with our policeman buddy, our chaperone – we had this one bodyguard who came everywhere with us; he was a good mate and we often went back to his house – and he started on him: ‘Hey, cop, get a job! What’s this? Looking after The Beatles? Great job you got, man, looking after The Beatles!’ He went on, ‘It’s great. They just lie up there on the ninth floor, in between satin sheets and every time they hear the girls screaming they go “Oooohh”.’ Very funny, we thought. We were not amused, as I recall. Very cutting. I like him now but at first he was a bit of a shock. – Paul McCartney, Anthology