Thursday, June 26, 2008
I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.
“I don’t get no respect…” A single catch phrase that sums up the career and self deprecating humor of a man from Long Island named Jack Roy, better known to us as the fat funny man Rodney Dangerfield. Rodney began his career in comedy at the age of 19 by writing jokes for other stand up comics. This gig did not provide enough scratch for the future comedian and he turned to the lucrative business of vinyl siding; where he stayed for nine years. (It should be noted that in the interim he was a singing waiter, certainly he “got no respect” in that job).
Dangerfield got his first big break on the Ed Sullivan show when they needed a last minute replacement for their stand up act that went MIA. Rodney was a hit and that performance on the Ed Sullivan show marked one of many including countless other late night T.V. appearances and 70 appearances on The Tonight Show.
Rodney’s biggest influence may have come not from his act but from a night club that he bought in Manhattan in 1970 that he dubbed “Dangerfield’s.” Dangerfield’s became the site of an HBO show that kick started the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Roseanne Brarr, Jeff Foxworthy, Sam Kinison, Rita Rudner, Andrew “Dice” Clay, and Bob Saget. His career peaked during the early 1980s, when he became a movie star. His appearance in Caddyshack led to starring roles in Easy Money and Back To School. Later his stand up album “No Respect” won a grammy award.
Rodney’s autobiography was supposed to be titled “My Love Affair With Marijuana” but unfortunately the publishers saw fit to give it another title, eventually agreeing on It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs. The reasoning behind the original title was that Rodney had habitually smoked cannabis for about 60 years while raising a family, running a night club and doing his own comedy.
His headstone reads; Rodney Dangerfield- There goes the neighborhood. And on a less pessimistic note Joan Child held an event in which the word "Respect" had been emblazoned in the sky, while each guest was given a live Monarch butterfly for a Native American butterfly-release ceremony led by Farrah Fawcett.