May 6, 2009

Larry Remembers Dom DeLuise

Posted: 06:33 PM ET

From the desk of Larry King:artdeluisegi

I knew Dom pretty well.  He was on my radio show frequently in the '80's and '90's.  I had him on my local TV show in DC in the early '80's, before I joined CNN.  And I had him on Larry King Live a number of times.

(To see a clip of Dom on LKL CLICK HERE)

He was a great guy.  He was very funny, of course, and always "on," and by that I mean he was always performing.  That made him a terrific guest, and enjoyable on and off camera.  I loved having him on my shows because he was funny and passionate, and that's what you want in a guest - a lot of passion.  He exuded it.  When he was on the screen, you couldn't change the channel.

He did have this thing that most comedians have, where you hold them at arm's-length.  Bob Hope was an example of this.  In the numerous times I interviewed him, I could never get him to talk about himself, no matter how hard I tried.  But nearly every comic I've interviewed - and most of the actors - share this trait.  They're being someone else while I'm interviewing them.

I think Dom was an underrated comedian.  When they talk about the great comics, you don't hear his name mentioned, but you should because he was really funny.  Dom was also an extraordinary Italian cook - or at least I'm told, he never cooked for me.  Somebody once told me he made the world's best meatballs.  Wish he had cooked for me.  I like meatballs.

Dom made friends very easily.  He was appreciated among those in the business and very well liked.  I never heard anyone say a bad word about him.  And of course there was his friendship with Burt Reynolds.  Burt loved him.  I had them on together once.  There was a dinner in DC where Burt was being honored.  I was the emcee,  and I had both of them on my local TV show in Washington to promote it.  They were hilarious.  At the dinner Dom talked about Burt.  Talk about funny - but also real.  Their friendship was very genuine.  Burt adored him, and the opposite was true.  Their relationship reminded me a lot of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.  His friendship with Burt - and Mel Brooks - got him a lot of movie roles.  In all those movies, he stood out.

I was very sad to hear about Dom's passing.  The world got a little less funny.

- Larry

To read more about Dom DeLuis's career, CLICK HERE.

Filed under: King's Things • Larry King • Larry King Live

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Dave of Detroit   May 6th, 2009 7:06 pm ET

Good people, great comedian, and not one word of impropriety-not many left like him. A lot of the greats are gone! They will be missed in more ways than you think!

sophiaz1   May 6th, 2009 7:22 pm ET

I also loved Dom! I remember him from the Dean Martin show, Hollywood squares and other shows and movies. He was fun with Burt Reynold's as well. He shall indeed be missed. R.I.P. Dom.
Condolences to his family and loved ones.
Sophia in Ohio

Mei-Ling   May 6th, 2009 7:31 pm ET

Although I never met him in person, I found Dom to be extremely funny, lovable and always a gentleman. Will surely be missed!

Alex (Aliso Viejo)   May 6th, 2009 7:47 pm ET

I honestly haven't heard of Dom DeLuise and I would have to agree that he was underrated. The way you describe and speak about him makes me realize I missed a great talent in the world of entertainment. Thanks! and Rest in Peace, Dom DeLuise.

jenny   May 6th, 2009 7:51 pm ET

He was a great comedian not like the ones of today, great father from what his children say and he will be missed.

Laura Gregory   May 6th, 2009 7:54 pm ET

This is a sad moment for all those who loved and grew up entertained by Dom. I believe he is with my Mom and they are both laughing and enjoying the afterlife, whatever that may be.

c   May 6th, 2009 8:47 pm ET

You're right Larry, that's one of the most moving statements about humanity that I've ever heard you say. Regards

Annabelle   May 6th, 2009 8:48 pm ET

Dom was a wonderful comedian. I remember him especially in a movie with Doris Day that was so very funny. (I can't recall the name) I hope TCM puts on many of his movies for us to enjoy again.

surfrider   May 6th, 2009 9:06 pm ET

Just go to a video store and rent or buy "Cannonball Run"...I have seen it a hundred times and he makes me laugh everytime..If you haven't had the chance to appreciate him, this will do it for you...

"Captain Chaos" lives forever...!!!!

a republican   May 6th, 2009 9:12 pm ET


a republican   May 6th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

larry,please bring on people with substance, not eliz H.

raaj   May 6th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

hasselbach has no knowledge of issues;thiks she does–delusional

Larry Molmud   May 6th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

The link to the DdL video on LKlive is broken.

JAMES J MCGEE   May 6th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

He was on tuesday night in his cameo role "ROBIN HOOD MEN IN TIGHTS Directed by Mel Brooks.His deadon improv of Marlon Brando,with the cotton balls in the mouth,hellava scene.

SoSaysSam   May 6th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

Dom was a prince, a true gentilman, a comic genius, a heart of gold. He will be missed.

prbmsolver   May 6th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

I and my wife to be at the time had seen Dom in an Atlantic City show. I Being an Italian from So Philly, Dom was so easy to relate to and real about it. I actually fell on the floor laughing. What was a class act is that Dom invited me and wife to be, to meet him after the show, he actually took time to take pictures with both of us,,,,we didn't even have a camera, he asked to borrow someone's and arranged to have them sent to me....Made me feel like his best friend....What a comedan, more so what a true man's man

Omar C.   May 6th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

The first time I ever heard of Dom was on "Long Kiss Goodbye", a song by the Norotious B.I.G., where he compares himself by saying he's "obese like DeLuise." Other than that I had never heard of him until his passing. This morning I deceided to Youtube the comedian and found him to be very enjoyable. I saw clip after clip and the guy was very funny. Very funny indeed. Im planning on renting some of his films to catch up on what i've missed. RIP Dom...

Jon G.   May 6th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

I loved the man all my life and I didn't even know how ill he was-shame on me. Thanks you for all the good times DD we love you.

Ed   May 6th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Long time fan of Dom DeLuise, from the classic Mel Brooks movies to TV appearances. He was very funny, I wish we saw more of him in recent years, he had a quality you don't see anymore.

Miss you, Dom, you made a lot of people laugh A LOT. And you really did look like Paul Prudhomme!!

Ed in Florida.

Albert Killackey   May 6th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Yes, "Dom was an underrated comedian." In the movie "Fatso" (1980) he was, IMO, at his best - funny, human, family oriented, and kind. The scene with the hotdog is classic. I still use the line, "You don't know how to run your plate..." when I see people waste food or not add the right sides. Oh, and "Get the honey..." I know Dom is in that big Deli in the sky with that lovable smile on his fase as he is showing others how to run their plate .

Sal Alfano   May 6th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

One of the most funnest movies that I have ever seen stared the late Annn Bancroft and Dom Deluise. While Fatso never made it big, as a Italian American every scene was some thing that I had experienced at one time or other.

Two great talents who passed much to soon. I

Ralph Perry   May 6th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

I met Dom at a Hollywood event and he was fabulous. And his son was there and just like him, full of life. It's hard to believe Dom is gone because I just saw him a few months ago and he looked good. I have a picture take with him that I will always treasure. Just like the picture I had taken with trwo other celebs before they passed on, Don Knotts and Tammy Faye. They have given us allot of great memories.

Joe from New Jersey...   May 6th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

Dom was such a funny man. He was a great comedian and one of the best of the true funny men out there. The comedians today don't match up to the older style and breed of comedians that Dom came from. I remember in Cannonball Run when he and Burt Renolds got suckered by Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. that were disguised as priests he said " Those fathers weren't fathers.. they were mothers." 🙂 Dom, you will be truely missed... You were a class act and made so many people laugh.

Dean in CT   May 6th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

Dom wrote a cookbook with many of his family recipes. His famous meatball recipe is in it and I still get lots of compliments. He was a great comedian and cook....It is truly a sad day.

furikie   May 6th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

I've never heard of him, But this article is sad to me..

Kevin Handy   May 6th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

Dom DeLuise was a man before his time. He was very funny, down to earth. You felt you knew him no matter what he did. He seemed like the guy next door, your best friend – but that was his genius. He struck me as being a sweetheart of a guy. My condolences to his family. Peter DeLuise shows his father's genius, sense of humor and intelligence. Dom played interesting characters on Stargate which we 'geeks' will remember well. Dom DeLuise played that part to perfection. It was 'over-the-top' which was Dom's genius. He was a member of the 'old school' comedians. He knew how to be funny and make the humor appropriate to the audience. So many today go on camera and swear – nothing wrong with swearing, not trying to be a prude here, but Dom lived in a time when you couldn't do that. He new better. It took more talent years ago because the censors were so much tougher on comedians. Dom DeLuise also appeared on Hollywood Squares and those types of comedic showcases before cable television became so much the rage. We forget how different that world was. When there were three or four stations in your viewing area you saw men like Dom more often. There weren't thousands of comedians to choose from. So men like Dom were the meat and potatoes of television. You were loved by fans, Dom. Pace amico. Make lots of fine 'cucina italiana rustica' up there – and tell lots of jokes – you're wonderful at both!

david bailey   May 6th, 2009 10:44 pm ET

Dunt Dunt DAAh!! One of the best comedians ever! Dom and Captain Kaos will be missed. My condolenses to his family. For those that don't know who Dom is, go rent his movies escpecially Canonball Run. Rest iun peace Dom

Catherine   May 6th, 2009 10:51 pm ET

I remember Dom DeLuise he was so funny played in the Cannon Ball Run. He was a great actor in other movies too. Bless him and his Family.

Catherine   May 6th, 2009 10:51 pm ET

I remember Dom DeLuise he was so funny played in the Cannon Ball Run. He was a great actor in other movies too. Bless him and his Family.

Delfino   May 6th, 2009 11:03 pm ET

yeah great actor, i remember how i would to try to imitate his contagious laugh. so long captain chaos you will be missed.

fallingwater   May 6th, 2009 11:32 pm ET

He was a great guy and will be very much missed

donnie   May 6th, 2009 11:48 pm ET

a great big laugh on Dean Martin Show yrs. ago, a great husband, dad, & grandpa,,a wonderful human being ! god bless !...

Ann Schroedle   May 7th, 2009 12:10 am ET

Dom will be so missed..he is a great comedian. Loved him and Dean Martin..when they got togeather, they were the best. Rest in Peace you are with ALL the best...

Liz from NC   May 7th, 2009 12:18 am ET

Dom was a great comedian and will be missed by all! He knew how to make people laugh. My condolences to his family.

Beverly Schwark   May 7th, 2009 1:02 am ET

First thing I thought of when I read Dom died ,Oh no not another funny wonderful guy gone. I hope Dom and George Carlin are having a blast.

Brett Steinberg   May 7th, 2009 2:04 am ET

I remember Dom from many random rolls that he played during his career (that I was alive to see), but I will never forget his performance and voice in "All Dogs Go to Heaven." You will be missed Dom!

Diane   May 7th, 2009 6:37 pm ET

It is always sad to lose a beloved performer. This world so needs laughter, and people such as Dom Deluise brought that laughter and succeeded in making us just relax and enjoy, without thinking of all the stresses of this world. My deepest sympathies to his family.

Mari, Utah   May 7th, 2009 7:39 pm ET

May he rest in peace. God bless him.

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