Don Rickles: The Ultimate TV Collection DVD Review

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Time Life/WEA
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2015
  • Run Time: 1328 minutes



            Though this box set with 8 discs of Don Rickles entertainment collects some of the performer’s most memorable television moments in one set, there is only one disc which has not already been released individually. Along with all 37 episodes from the 2 seasons of “CPO Sharkey,” this set also includes 4 uncut specials and plenty of unedited bonus footage of the “nice guy who finishes first.” These plus plenty of additional extras make for a wonderful box set, perfect for the dedicated fans of Don Rickles and classic television.


            Previously released and included in this set are seasons 1 and 2 of “CPO Sharkey,” which featured Rickles as the 24-year naval veteran with a politically incorrect sense of humor. The series aired from 1976 to 1978, with Otto Sharkey (Rickles) preparing recruits at the San Diego naval training base. The men of company 144 provide plenty of troubles for Sharkey, who takes out his frustrations with all types of verbal assault. Each of the two seasons are contained in separate DVD packages, with 3 discs per season for the episodes and special features. The first season includes a clip from “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson making a surprise visit to the set of “CPO Sharkey,” and season two includes a 2015 cast reunion in Las Vegas.


            In addition to this classic television show, this box set also includes two volumes of Rickles’ TV specials. Volume 1 was previously released and contains the uncut presentation of “The Many Sides of Don Rickles” and “Don Rickles: Alive and Kicking.” In typical variety show fashion, Rickles uses these specials to show the range of his talent, singing and dancing between his signature fast-paced wisecracks and insults. Special features on this single DVD include new introductions to the special from Rickles, as well as footage from his acceptance of the Legend Award at the TV Land Awards, presented by Jimmy Kimmel.


            The final disc in the set is the previously unreleased Volume 2 of the Don Rickles TV specials, including “Mr. Warmth” and “Rickles.” These special contain endless celebrity appearances, from John Wayne to Frank Sinatra, along with some of his classic movie spoofs and comedy sketches. Exclusive to this set are new introductions to the specials by Rickles, as well never-before-seen deleted segments and outtakes. There is also footage of Rickles visiting a classroom of kids in a signature feathered headdress.


    Entertainment Value: 7/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10

    Historical Significance:  8/10

    Special Features: 8.5/10

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