Celebrity impersonator Rich Little will never forget the time Don Rickles pulled him aside for a man-to-man chat. “I was visiting him backstage and he said, very seriously, ‘I want to talk to you. Pull up a chair,’” Rich, 80, exclusively told Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “I thought he was going to give me a big lecture. He said, ‘I like how you’re combing your hair.’ I replied, ‘I like how you are, too!’” To which the bald comic snapped, “Don’t get smart with me!”

Meet Rich Little, the Man of a Thousand Voices, On Our Classic TV Podcast (Exclusive)

The impressionist dubbed “The Man of a Thousand Voices” has such admiration for his friend, who passed in 2017, that he’s recently reissued his memoir Little by Little: People I’ve Known and Been with a new chapter on Don. “I was always amazed by how he could think so quickly,” recalled Rich. “He wasn’t one joke ahead of you, he was two.”

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Rich has many fond memories of his decades-long career in showbiz. “Bing [Crosby] was a very nice man, very humble and sweet-natured,” he said. “And I got along well with Frank Sinatra — he never hit me or anything!” In 1964, when he was a guest on The Judy Garland Show, “trying to get Peter Lawford sober and Judy Garland out of her dressing room took a long time!” he laughed. “Judy was very insecure and she’d get a little down. One day she said, ‘Rich, why don’t we go to the movies?’ We never did, but we got along fine.”

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He keeps a special place in his heart for Lucille Ball, who invited him to appear on her sitcom Here’s Lucy in 1971. “She was fun,” said Rich with a smile. “I thought she was going to be a strict taskmaster, but she wasn’t. We had a wonderful relationship.”

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If you want to hear what Rich has to say, check out our exclusive Classic TV podcast interview with him.