Iconic comedian Don Rickles passed away on Thursday afternoon due to kidney failure at age 90.
The longtime standup comic and actor was famous for his appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carons and The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as a longtime actor in television and movies. Rickles was one of the first prominent "insult comics," a brand of comedy that now floods comedy clubs and stadium venues around the world.
While the list of Rickles' accomplishments and accolades warrant lengthy discussion, we are here to talk about Rickles' contribution to the game of hockey.
Rickles himself was not a hockey player, but early on in his career, he coined a phrase that has remained in the cultural lexicon for more than half a century.
When Rickles began appearing on stage in the 1950's, he would rile up temperamental audience members by calling them "hockey pucks." The term became a key catchphrase of his and was part of the title of his 1975 stand-up special "Buy This Tape, You Hockey Puck."
Rickles even lent his voice to the "Mr. Potato Head" character in the hit Pixar movie series "Toy Story."
Hockey and insults have long gone hand-in-hand, and it's hard to imagine the phrase "You hockey puck" having much meaning at all if not for Rickles.