News of Don Rickles death hit Jimmy Kimmel especially hard.
After sharing his condolences via Twitter Thursday, the 49-year-old host spent the first 12 minutes of his show honoring the late comedian.
"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 struggling to maintain his composure. "But, uh...Well, 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."
"Again, I'm sorry if you're just hearing this for the first time today, but Don Rickles passed away this morning. He was 90 years old," he told the studio audience. "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."
From the Archives: Don Rickles Heckles Fallon, The Roots
Elsewhere in late-night, "The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert opened his show by paying tribute to the legend. "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon briefly paid tribute to the comedy legend as well.
"He's been on 'The Tonight Show' a countless number of times. I've personally been out to dinner with him a few times where he said some truly, truly mean things to me," he told fans in Orlando, where "The Tonight Show" is taping this week. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Late Night's Seth Meyers called Rickles "one of the all-time greats" and shared one of his favorite memories of the comic. "I've told this story before, but it meant so much to me," he said. "A few years ago, I was at a party and Don Rickles was there. He was sitting at a table and he was alone. I said to myself, 'I will always regret it if I don't go over and say hello to Don Rickles.' I went over and I said, 'Mr. Rickles, I just wanted to say hello. My name is Seth Meyers. I'm on "Saturday Night Live." He just looked at me and said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry to hear Saturday Night Live was canceled.' I was like, 'Oh, it wasn't canceled.' He just went, 'A guy can dream!'"
"There's nothing better than getting burned by Don Rickles. I was always very thankful for that," he added, "and I was always grateful that we got to enjoy his comedy for all these many years."
(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)