I saw a billboard while I was driving into downtown Buffalo on the 33 this morning that made me do a double-take.
Don Rickles will be headlining the Fallsview Casino on May 2nd and 3rd.
My first thought was—Don Rickles is still alive?
My second thought was—I’m so glad that Don Rickles is still alive!
My third (and favorite) thought was—I’m so glad that Don Rickles is still alive and STILL going.
This man is 86 years old (born in 1926) and has been actively performing and entertaining for about 63 years (since 1948). That is an amazing career in any line of work, much less an industry as knowingly difficult and unforgiving as show business. He even earned his nicknames “The Merchant of Venom” and “Mr. Warmth” for his insult comedy, which started when the barbs he hurled at hecklers got bigger laughs than his prepared material.
So how is Don Rickles still going? He said it best himself in a recent interview:
“I’m in good health. I’m working better than I ever have. The audiences are great. Why should I retire? I’m like a fighter. The bell rings and you come out and fight. My energy comes alive. And I still enjoy it.”
This reveals the key ingredient to achieving success with both depth and longevity—he loves it. We should all be so lucky.