In 1973, then-Governor Ronald Reagan was the subject of a Dean Martin Roast. As a Governor and an actor, Reagan wasn’t the average target of one of these roasts. However, the future President had a great sense of humor and was able to laugh at himself.
Don Rickles was perhaps the most aggressive of the performers that night, but that was his charm. He didn’t give anyone a free pass on the insults, including the Governor. Even though according to Rickles, it was the first time he met then-Governor Reagan, Mr. Warmth didn’t care.
“The governor is the greatest politician of all time; he laughs at everything. ‘My brother died!’” Rickles joked while pretending to laugh as Reagan.
As you can see in the video below, the jokes and insults started up immediately and Reagan seemed to be the person laughing the most! Reagan wasn’t sensitive. He could take a joke and knew it was all in good fun!
That was an era when people didn’t take themselves too seriously. They could take a joke, even ones that pushed the envelope. They didn’t worry about hurting feelings as that was the entire point of a roast! People could laugh at themselves back then, and that even included Ronald Reagan!
This wasn’t the only time Reagan was on the receiving end of Mr. Warmth’s jokes. In 1985, Don Rickles also performed at President Reagan’s second Inaugural.
He didn’t hold back with the insults. He joked about Billy Graham as the audience roared with laughter! He even insulted child actor Webster. His routine certainly would have been considered offensive by today’s politically correct standards. But, this crowd loved it!
You can watch this hilarious performance in the video below.
Originally published by Tell Me Now