Comedian Rickles honored by Friars Club

NEW YORK — Lucky Don Rickles: The Friars Club holds a night in his honor and everyone plays nice.

Almost everyone.

Robert De Niro, who appeared with Rickles in the 1995 movie “Casino,” joked that he was sure the 87-year-old comedian had died and the recent gathering at the Waldorf Astoria was actually a memorial. “Don would have been so proud,” De Niro said as Rickles laughed along.

In fact, it was a tribute to the man known as “Mr. Warmth,” who received a lifetime achievement award from the Friars, with guests attending the black-tie dinner finding bottles of Jack Daniels — a favorite beverage of Rickles’ old friend, Frank Sinatra — at their tables and boxes of Godiva chocolate.

Bob Newhart, Joan Rivers and Louis CK were among the comics praising the master roaster.

Rickles, of course, had insults prepared. “So many stars here, nobody big,” he said. As for Rickles himself: “I’m standing here, barely.”

Mouseketeer stage renamed for Funicello

— The stage at Walt Disney Studios where “The Mickey Mouse Club” was filmed is now officially the Annette Funicello Stage.

Disney chief Bob Iger led a ceremony Monday dedicating the soundstage to Funicello, the Mouseketeer-turned-movie star who died in April at age 70.

Iger confessed to having a crush on Funicello when he was growing up, as many who watched the perky brunette on TV did.

Former Mouseketeers, Funicello’s family and colleagues also participated in the recent dedication. Frankie Avalon, Richard Sherman and Leonard Maltin were among those honoring the late actress.

$11.5M Picasso seized by U.S. authorities

NEW YORK — A 1909 Pablo Picasso painting titled “Compotier et tasse,” or “Fruit bowl and cup,” with an estimated worth of $11.5 million will be held by U.S. authorities for the Italian government pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against its owner in Italy, according to the terms of a judge’s order signed this week.

Justice Department authorities assumed control of the painting after U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero signed the order following a formal request by the government of Italy.

Homeland Security agents seized the painting May 21, when it was being offered for private sale for $11.5 million.

Associated Press