Don Rickles Naval Career
Don Rickles is arguably one of the most famous comedians of all time, but few people know about his early career as a Navy Seaman. From 1945 to 1946, Rickles served in World War II as a seaman, third class, in the Naval Reserve of the United States.
Prior to his naval career, Rickles had acted in numerous productions, including juvenile parts in various films and appearances on small-time radio shows in the 1940s. It wasn’t until he was drafted at the age of 19 that he began to develop the style of comedy that would make him famous.
Enlistment and Training
Rickles enlisted in the Naval Reserve of the United States in 1945, and reported to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for training. There, he received instruction in seaman duties, naval regulations, and firearms. He recalled his time in the navy as “the best camp I ever had”. During this time, he began to hone his skills in comedy and humor, which he attributed to the camaraderie among fellow sailors.
Rickles was assigned to the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, and from there he served on active duty aboard the USS Alabama. During his service, he was known for his sharp wit and off-color jokes, earning him the nickname of “The Prince of Insult”, a moniker he kept throughout his comedy career.
Post Military Career
After his honorable discharge in 1946, Rickles returned to his acting career, using his now-famous comedic style to great success. Over the course of his career, he appeared in numerous films, television shows, and live performances, and received countless awards and accolades.
Don Rickles’ naval career may have been brief, but his time in the service had a profound impact on him, and allowed him to develop the style of wit and comedic timing that made him famous.