The Merchant of Venom. The King of Zing. Mr. Warmth. Over the course of his long and illustrious career in comedy, Don Rickles has earned these nicknames for his incomparable ability to make insults seem endearing, and to make audiences laugh at each other and themselves.

Still going strong at 81, Rickles is more than just a national institution – he’s the last of Las Vegas’ great Golden Age entertainers.

This holiday season, renowned filmmaker John Landis takes a loving look at Mr. Warmth through exclusive, never-before-shot concert footage of his Vegas act, plus behind-the-scenes conversations with Rickles, interviews with over 30 of his closest friends and admirers (Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Bob Newhart, Clint Eastwood, Whoopi Goldberg) and a wealth of memorable TV and film clips.

The premiere of "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project" is December 2 at 8 p.m., on HBO.