Stars take glee in trashing Don Rickles 

Proving that insults never go out of style, ancient Don Rickles, the subject of Spike TV special "One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute," airing tonight, was lambasted by a plethora of celebrities at a black-tie event taped earlier this month.

Stars at the New York roast included Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De Niro, Regis Philbin, Tracy Morgan, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Filmed tributes came from Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Kimmel and Rickles' longtime pal Bob Newhart, The Associated Press reports.

"We wanted to honor your memory, Don, so here we are," said Martin Scorsese, firing a zinger at the spirited but frail-looking Rickles, 88, seated stage-side -- "though if I'd been directing this, I don't think I would have gone for the open casket."

David Letterman fondly remembered first meeting Rickles "at a Scientology mixer."

For those fuzzy on Rickles' tongue-lashing past, the program includes clips of him filleting such luminaries as Johnny Carson, Clint Eastwood, Frank Sinatra, the Rev. Billy Graham and President Ronald Reagan.

At his turn to speak, Rickles told the crowd: "I'm so thrilled as I look around the room that I'm the biggest name here."

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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