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Daddy Dearest

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Sitcoms don’t get any more abusive than Daddy Dearest, a woeful series starring Richard Lewis (Anything But Love) as a single dad and psychologist whose father, played by Don Rickles, moves in with him. Both stars play versions of their stand-up comedy personas: Lewis is manically neurotic; Rickles is aggressively crabby. They’re not believable for a second as father and son, but that wouldn’t have mattered if Daddy Dearest were funny. Had there been some spark between these two performers, their relationship would have been affably surreal; instead, Lewis and Rickles glare and snipe feebly at each other. Rickles also hurls unimaginative insults at minorities. ”Mind your own business, Aladdin,” he barks at a man with a heavy Indian accent. ”7-Eleven just called — your camels are blocking the aisles.” Over the years, Rickles has had a number of different TV series (two different versions of The Don Rickles Show and C.P.O. Sharkey), and they’ve all been short-lived; jokes like this suggest why. D-

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