The National Comedy Center has announced that it will be preserving an archival collection from Don Rickles’ estate, showcasing the late comedy legend’s six-decade career.
The collection spans from the 1950s to 2000s and includes rare photographs, correspondence, creative papers, and wardrobe.
The centerpiece of the collection is of more than 40 photo and memorabilia albums assembled by the comedian and his wife, Barbara.
A new display now on view at the Comedy Center features iconic items from the Rickles collection, including a stage-worn tuxedo and a neon caricature of the comedian that appeared as on-stage décor during his live performances. There also is an interactive feature that “insults” museumgoers with never-before-heard audio recorded by Rickles shortly before his passing. The Rickles artifacts are presented alongside the Center’s exhibit on the art of the roast.
The donation to the National Comedy Center was made by Rickles’ daughter, comedian Mindy Rickles, who wished to make her father’s career collection accessible to comedy fans, students, and researchers, while also preserving his legacy for future generations.