Reaction to the death of comedy legend Don Rickles:

“He was called ‘The Merchant of Venom,’ but in truth, he was one of the kindest, caring and most sensitive human beings we have ever known. We are devastated and our world will never be the same. We were totally unprepared for this.” — Bob and Ginnie Newhart in a statement.

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“A giant loss.” — Billy Crystal via Twitter.

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“Farewell to a comedic legend & dear friend, Don Rickles. I know you’re cracking them up in the Great Beyond!” — Samuel L. Jackson via Instagram.

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“Don Rickles was one the absolute greats. I feel lucky for the times I was ever in his orbit, my thoughts are with his family today.” — James Corden via Twitter.

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“Those were the days, my friend @DonRickles We thought they’d never end. We loved you so.” — Dick Van Dyke via Twitter.

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“He never was Politically Correct and he never apologized for it.” — Gilbert Gottfried via Twitter.

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“He was a brilliant improvisational comedian. And an excellent actor. And a very nice man. I’m so happy we had him this long.” — Robert Klein by phone.

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“There were few, if any, that were quicker than Don. He didn’t think of the next line he would use, he was already thinking of the line after that.” — Rich Little in a statement.

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“I’ve known Don Rickles almost 65 years since we first met as teenagers. I can only imagine his first conversation with God. He might send him back. I love him and I miss him; the world is a sadder place without him.” — Steve Lawrence in a statement.

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“Don Rickles was a cyclone of funny with a heart of gold. Is God ready for your maniacal wit? Would love to hear what you said on arrival.” — Lewis Black via Twitter.

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“Being skewered by Don Rickles was side-splitting funny. A gentle soul with rapid fire wit.” — Barbra Streisand via Twitter.

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“Whenever I wanted to be entertained and just laugh and enjoy life, I would go to see Rickles. We knew each other very well from a long, long time ago. I loved him as an entertainer and I loved him as a person.” — Marty Allen by phone.

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“We lost a great one. fast furious brilliant for decades the definition of genius.” — Sandra Bernhard via Twitter.

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“God Bless Don Rickles, aka, Mr. Warmth! Proud to have been heckled by him from the stage many times!” — LeVar Burton via Twitter.

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“A God died today. Don Rickles, we did not want to ever lose you. Never.” — Tom Hanks via Twitter.

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“In lieu of flowers, Don Rickles’ family has requested that people drop their pants and fire a rocket.” — Patton Oswald via Twitter.

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“You brightened our lives every time you were on screen.” — Ruth Buzzi via Twitter.

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“Don Rickles, you kept us laughing for so many years. We will miss you dearly. Thanks for the zingers. You were one of a kind.” — George Takei via Twitter.

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“One of the funniest people that ever lived, you dumb schmuck.” — Billy Eichner via Twitter.

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“90 years of Don Rickles weren’t enough. One of the sweetest and most lovely people I had the pleasure of knowing.” — Jimmy Kimmel via Twitter.

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“Awwww man Rickles is dead. Rest In Peace buddy.” — Danny DeVito via Twitter.

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“The Merchant of Venom, legendary comedian … The sweetest guy, great hubby & dad.” — Al Roker via Twitter.

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“Hockey puck. We’ve lost Don Rickles. I love him so. Smart, funny, a pro and most important deeply and honestly kind. Kind is what matters.” — Penn Jillette via Twitter.

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“My friend, my dad, the funniest biggest hearted of them all. A beautiful husband and father. My heart is broken.” — Bob Saget via Twitter.

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“Don Rickles was simply the best. He created insult comedy & yet every 1 of his targets felt loved and honoured. One of a kind.” — Jason Alexander via Twitter.

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“Aw jeez. Rickles. Sweetest, funniest, legend and mensch. Came to a party at my house gave me a dollar and told me to get a nicer place.” — Craig Ferguson via Twitter.

The Associated Press

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