Jimmy Kimmel Pays Emotional Tribute to Don Rickles

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Jimmy Kimmel could not contain his emotions on Thursday night.

Taking to his talk show stage just hours after Don Rickles died at the age of 90, the host warned viewers right away that tears would most likely be shed during his monologue.

"This is not going to be our usual show tonight - and I'll tell you right up front that I'm going to cry, probably a lot, which is embarrassing," Kimmel said as he struggled to maintain his composure at the outset of the show.

Jimmy Kimmel Talks Don Rickles

He continued:

"I'm not good with this sort of thing, and I'm sorry, especially to those of you who came here to see the show in person, because that's probably not what you came for... but we lost someone that we and I love very much today."

Kimmel, who worked closely with Rickles not long before the latter died, again apologized to viewers and added:

"Don Rickles passed away this morning. He was 90 years old. I know it sounds crazy to say he was too young, but he was, because he was youthful and so funny and sharp and generous."

The star explained how he grew up in Las Vegas and followed Rickles from an early age.

Upon detailing how Rickles first appeared on his talk show in 2006, Kimmel once again broke down.

"We'd been trying to book him since the beginning. We asked him to do the show over and over again. He didn't know what this was. He knew The Tonight Show and Letterman and that's it.

"But finally, after we bothered him like 20 times, he gave up and he did the show for my birthday in 2006."

Jimmy Kimmel Cries

Added Kimmel:

"It was exciting, like I was in some kind of talk show host fantasy camp, sitting behind a desk while Don Rickles made fun of me. It was like being a real talk show host for a minute.

"Don came to visit 17 more times after that. Whenever he was on, we would go out to dinner."

Prior to sharing a video tribute to Rickles, Kimmel concluded:

"He was a funny guy; I know that's not a news flash. I was lucky to know him. My love and condolences to Don's wife, Barbara; his daughter; Mindy, his stepdaughters; Bob and John; his main man, Tony O; Paul Shefrin.

"There will never be another Don Rickles."

Watch the beautiful, emotional tribute below:

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