Rickles’ is a high-wire kind of funny. Most of it doesn’t translate very well on paper, where it just reads as mean. And it is mean. But it’s not an angry mean, nor is it funny because it’s mean. It’s funny because it’s delivered with needle-sharp timing, with shrugs and sighs and side-glances and eye rolls that make it all float. Yes, his jokes are bigoted and sexist and homophobic, but that misses the point. As Chris Rock put it, “Oh, it’s very offensive, but not if you’re into comedy.” Context matters.