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  #1  
Old 10-05-2004, 05:34 PM
PeteG PeteG is offline
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RIP, Rodney Dangerfield

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  #2  
Old 10-05-2004, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteG
He was awesome in Caddyshack - the world has lost a great entertainer. He has my respect
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2004, 06:35 PM
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haigha haigha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteG
R.D.R.I.P.

Al Czervik: [to his Asian companion] I hear this place is restricted, Wang, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish, okay?
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Old 10-05-2004, 06:39 PM
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2004, 07:12 PM
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October 6, 2004
Rodney Dangerfield, Comic Seeking Respect, Dies at 82
By MEL WATKINS


Rodney Dangerfield, the paunchy, goggle-eyed comedian whose fidgety delivery and sad-sack catch phrase "I don't get no respect" brought him cult status and eventually wider fame, died yesterday in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 82.

The cause was complications after heart valve replacement surgery in August, said his spokesman, Kevin Sasaki. Mr. Dangerfield's health had been deteriorating in the last 18 months, although he had made a handful of television appearances.

Mr. Dangerfield's big break came in 1967 when, at 44 and relatively unknown, he won a spot on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Introducing a stream of lugubrious one-liners with his loser's prologue - "Nothing goes right for me" - he became a favorite guest on shows whose hosts included Steve Allen, Joey Bishop, Joan Rivers, Dean Martin, Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin.

With a rumpled suit and one hand perpetually loosening his trademark red necktie, Mr. Dangerfield took the stage as a hapless, self-deprecating Everyman slapped around by life and searching in vain for acceptance. It was a role that he had had some experience with offstage. But for his audiences, it was one laugh after another, from gag lines like these:

"I was an ugly child. I got lost on the beach. I asked a cop if he could find my parents. He said, 'I don't know. There's lots of places for them to hide.' "

Or: "My fan club broke up. The guy died."

Or: "Last week my house was on fire. My wife told the kids, 'Be quiet, you'll wake up Daddy.' "

Or: "I was ugly, very ugly. When I was born, the doctor smacked my mother."

His popularity grew steadily, and in 1969 he opened his own comedy club in New York. With its namesake owner as a regular headliner, Dangerfield's, at First Avenue and 61st Street, soon became one of the city's hottest comedy showcases.

In 1972, after seeing the Francis Ford Coppola movie "The Godfather," he came up with a new angle that would reshape his routine. "All I heard was the word 'respect,' " he recalled. " 'You've got to give me respect,' or 'Respect him.' I thought to myself: It sounds like a funny image - a guy who gets no respect. Maybe I'll write a joke, and I'll try it."

The shift in his act was subtle, but it struck a chord in fans that far exceeded his expectations. His image as the ultimate loser was established, and, during the next few decades, through his comedy recordings and work in nightclubs, films and television, he emerged as one of this country's best-known comedians.

Mr. Dangerfield's first comedy album, "No Respect," won a Grammy Award in 1981. In 1984 his song "Rappin' Rodney," one of his most popular recordings, included these lyrics: "I'm gettin' old, it's hard to face. During sex I lose my place. Steak and sex, my favorite pair. I have 'em both the same way - very rare."

He starred in more than a half-dozen HBO comedy specials and appeared on NBC's "Tonight Show" more than 70 times. In movie roles he sometimes found himself cast against type. He was a nouveau-riche boor who tries to buy a country club in "Caddyshack" (1980) and a wealthy businessman who matriculates at his son's college in "Back to School" (1986). In a rare dramatic appearance, he played a belligerent, abusive father in Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" (1994).

Rodney Dangerfield - his real name was Jacob Cohen, but a nightclub owner suggested Rodney Dangerfield - was born in Babylon, N.Y., on Long Island, in 1921. The early departure of his father, a vaudeville comedian, and his upbringing by a mother whom he described as overbearing contributed to a troubled childhood and fits of depression that he later said had required regular visits to psychiatrists throughout his life.

In his late teens, Mr. Dangerfield took his jokes to the stage. He started as a singing waiter and comic under the name Jack Roy in a Brooklyn nightclub and later bounced around dingy joints in places like Staten Island, the Bronx, and Bayonne, N.J., and worked Catskills resorts as a standup. Tales of his hard-knock experiences with club owners and unappreciative audiences became legend among comics.

After a particularly humiliating experience at a Catskills hotel in the early 1950's, he quit show business. "To give you an idea of how well I was doing at the time I quit," he recalled later, "I was the only one who knew I quit."

The hiatus lasted for more than a dozen years, during which Mr. Dangerfield began businesses as a paint salesman and a house painter, and lived with his first wife, Joyce Indig, a singer, and their family in Englewood, N.J. The couple divorced in 1961.

Mr. Dangerfield is survived by his children, Brian and Melanie, from his first marriage, and by his second wife, Joan Child, whom he married in 1993.

Still, he remained a rarity among comedians in the late 20th century - he remained a one-liner comic of the old school whose best work was done before a live audience. "There are few comedians who have built an entire career around standup - Rodney Dangerfield comes to mind first," said George Carlin, whose own comedy is often built around complex, socially relevant issues. "And everyone who has been successful at it does it by creating a unique identity."
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2004, 08:44 PM
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AB AB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haigha
R.D.R.I.P.

Al Czervik: [to his Asian companion] I hear this place is restricted, Wang, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish, okay?
Or how about "Relax Wang, it's only a parking lot"
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2004, 07:45 AM
Moto Trex Moto Trex is offline
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Yes, he was one of the last to make a living as a stand up comedien - even in his movies, it was always a set-up for him to deliver a zinger.

Normally at this point, I would lament the fact that his kind will grace us no more and that the Young Turks will never understand what happened in the entertainment world 30 or 50 years ago, when vaudeville moved on to TV and variety shows where some of the most popular fare offered. I won't because it's not true. Dave Chappelle is a very funny - and more importantly, very smart - comedien and he is filling the shoes of past comediens whose real craft was that of insight into the human condition. Also, great entertainers like Rodney Dangerfield are at hand on DVDs and other formats. Want to know what it was like back then? Look at the release of the Dean Martin Show (now being advertised on late night TV) on tape or DVD. Guys like Rodney or Dino or, even, Frank Sinatra, brought with them an expectation as they walked on to a stage and they always delivered. On tape or on DVD, from decades ago, that magic comes through.

Rodney was one of the last men (or women - where is Phyllis Diller?) standing from that past era of transition that marked the early days of TV and post-war entertainment in America and as such he testifies to hard, hard work with a good dash of nerve to get up on a stage and to make a shtick work. And to work that routine and get some breaks and to open up to a career that was rewarding.

What was it when Rodney would show his face - even before he said one word - and we were ready to laugh? It was the same thing that John Belushi had and John Candy had and guys like Jonothan Winters still have: genius.

Rest in peace, Rodney. Your new audience is ready and they can't wait. They want to hear the old lines and the old, timeless, jokes.
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2004, 04:52 PM
TripleX5 ® TripleX5 ® is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteG

A true legend. RIP RD.
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