I tell ya, nothin' goes right.Last week I found a guy's wallet ... Inside was a picture of my two kids.
Anybody can repeat a Rodney Dangerfield joke, but nobody can tell one like the man himself. That's because his humor, built on the premise that he "don't get no respect," is drawn from a life so hard that the only way to survive was to laugh at it -- though all the drugs and hookers certainly didn't hurt.
In It's Not Easy Bein' Me, Dangerfield comes clean (even if he still works blue) about his brutal life and the unlikely triumph he made out of it. His father was in vaudeville, and his mother was from hell, which is why a young Jack Roy grabbed a mike and got up on a stage straight out of high school. He was looking for laughs, some approval ... and a few easy women. He struggled for years, getting by but never getting over, playing dives and opening for strippers, hypnotists, and snake charmers.Then at thirty, Dangerfield walked away from all that glamour. He quit show business, got a "real" job -- as an aluminum-siding salesman -- and started raising a family in Englewood, New Jersey. He was out of comedy for twelve unhappy years, but all the while he was writing jokes, scheming, and dreaming of his comeback.
Eventually, he changed his act, changed his name, and changed American comedy forever. He developed one of the most popular characters in all of show business -- the poor schnook who gets no respect. Not from his parents, his wife, his kids, not even from his physician, Dr. Vinnie Boombatz.
But his millions of fans not only respected him, they loved him, reciting dozens of his jokes from memory and quoting chapter and verse from Caddyshack, the movie that made Dangerfield into a comedic superstar. Today, Dangerfield stands as a true pillar of American comedy (though at eighty-two, he says, he's crumbling a little) and after the life he's led, it's amazing he's standing at all.
Wild, hip, and hilarious, It's Not Easy Being Me is like having a front-row seat to the ultimate Rodney Dangerfield performance, where the jokes come at a hundred miles an hour and the outrageous stories go on forever.
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A Vegas headliner for 20-plus years, Dangerfield became a huge comedic success while maintaining his image as a hassled everyman. He is, says Carrey, "as funny as a carbon-based life form can be." After writing I Couldn't Stand My Wife's Cooking, So I Opened a Restaurant; I Don't Get No Respect; and No Respect, he now presents this anecdotal autobiography, effectively blending honesty and humor. He was born Jacob Cohen in 1921 to a vaudevillian father constantly on the road and a "coldhearted," "selfish" mother: "I guess that's why I went into show business—to get some love." As Jack Roy, he began performing in his teens, struggled in clubs across the country but quit in 1949 to spend 12 years as an aluminum-siding salesman. At 40, he changed his name and his act: "I was older and wiser, yeah, but I was funnier too." In a major comeback, he made 70 Tonight Show appearances and opened his own nightclub in 1969, followed by TV specials and commercials, albums and hit movies. Writing with hip, showbiz savvy and a backstage bawdiness, he regales with tales of Lenny Bruce, Andy Kaufman and many more, and devotes full chapters to sex and drugs. Sidebar jokes, relevant to the text, appear throughout, along with cartoons and b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Rodney has found a way to appeal to every generation."
-- Jim Carrey
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