Cover image for It's not easy bein' me : a lifetime of no respect but plenty of sex and drugs
Title:
It's not easy bein' me : a lifetime of no respect but plenty of sex and drugs
Author:
Dangerfield, Rodney, 1921-2004.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperEntertainment, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
270 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780066211077
Format :
Book

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PN2287.D259 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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PN2287.D259 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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PN2287.D259 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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PN2287.D259 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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PN2287.D259 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Summary

Summary

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.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. Agent, Chris Calhoun. (On sale May 25) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

It's Not Easy Bein' Me A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs Chapter One I Was A Male Hooker ... Most kids never live up to their baby picture Roy and Arthur was a vaudeville comedy team. Roy was my father; Arthur was my uncle Bunk. On November 22, 1921, after their last show that night in Philadelphia, Phil Roy got a call backstage, where he was told, "It's a boy!" My father drove that night from Philadelphia to Babylon, Long Island, to greet his new son, Jacob Cohen. Me. (My father's real name was Philip Cohen; his stage name was Phil Roy.) I was born in an eighteen-room house owned by in mother's sister Rose and her husband. After a couple of weeks my mother took me back to her place in Jamaica, Queens where we lived with my four-year-old sister, Marion, my mother's mother, my mother's other three sisters -- Esther, Peggy, and Pearlie -- her brother Joe, and a Swedish carpenter named Mack, who Esther later married. The whole family had come to America from Hungary when my mother was four. My mother's father -- my grandfather -- was almost never referred to in that house. Rumor has it he's still in Hungary -- and still drinking. My dad wasn't around much, either. I found out much later that he was a ladies' man. Dad had no time for his kids -- he was always out trying to make new kids. I was born on my father's birthday. It didn't mean a fucking thing. His first wife was a southern girl. It was literally a shotgun wedding -- and the marriage lasted until my father went back on the road with his vaudeville act. I was an ugly kid. When I was born, after the doctor cut the cord, he hung himself. My mother was my dad's second wife. She was pregnant with my older sister, Marion, so Dad did the honorable thing. I feel awkward referring to my father as "Dad." When you hear that word, you picture a man who looks forward to spending time with his family, a man who takes his son camping or to a ball game every once in a while. My father and I did none of those things. He didn't live with us. Show business kept him on the road practically all the time -- or was it my mother? When my father wasn't on the road, he'd stay in New York City. About every six months, I'd take the train from Kew Gardens into New York to see him. We'd walk around for an hour and talk -- not that we ever had much to say to each other -- then he'd walk me back to the subway and give me some change. I'd say, "Thank you," and then take the subway back home. I figured out that during my entire childhood, my father saw me for two hours a year. In my life I've been through plenty. When I was three years old, my parents got a dog. I was jealous of the dog, so they got rid of me. Although I didn't realize it at the time, my childhood was rather odd. I was raised by my mother, who ran a very cold household. I never got a kiss, a hug, or a compliment. My mother wouldn't even tuck me in, and forget about kissing me good night. On my birthdays, I never got a present, a card, nothing. I guess that's why I went into show business -- to get some love. I wanted people to tell me I was good, tell me I'm okay. Let me hear the laughs, the applause. I'll take love any way I can get it. When I was three years old, I witnessed my first act of violence. I walked into the living room and saw my mother lying on the couch, being beaten by her four sisters. My mother was kicking and screaming. "Get Joe!" She yelled, "Get Joe!" I did what my mother told me. I ran up two flights of stairs and started pulling on her brother Joe to wake him up. I kept repeating, "Uncle Joe, downstairs! Downstairs!" He came down and broke it up. What a childhood I had. Once on my birthday my old man gave me a bat. The first day I played with it, it flew away. From the time I was four years old, I had to make my own entertainment. There was a parking lot next to our three-story building that was always vacant after dark. Every night I would hear voices below my window, and I knew what that meant -- there was going to be a fight. This is where the local tough guys would come to settle their beefs. From my windowsill, I had the best seat in the house ... It's Not Easy Bein' Me A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs . Copyright © by Rodney Dangerfield. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs by Rodney Dangerfield All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Jim Carrey
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 I Was a Male Hookerp. 3
Chapter 2 How Can I Get a Job Like That?p. 29
Chapter 3 Plans for Conquering the Worldp. 43
Chapter 4 Very Naked from the Waist Upp. 49
Chapter 5 I Needed $3,000 to Get Out of Jailp. 63
Chapter 6 Why Didn't You Tell Me You Were Funny?p. 77
Chapter 7 Some Show Business on the Sidep. 91
Chapter 8 I Am Not High!p. 111
Chapter 9 Can I Have Your Autograph and More Butter?p. 125
Chapter 10 Let the Good Times Rollp. 137
Chapter 11 A Night with Lenny Brucep. 155
Chapter 12 Stuck in a Bag of Mixed Nutsp. 191
Chapter 13 I'm Not Going!p. 213
Chapter 14 Three Lucky Breaksp. 225
Chapter 15 Turkeys in Wheelchairsp. 237
Chapter 16 My Heart Started Doing Somersaultsp. 245
Chapter 17 End of the Linep. 257
Acknowledgmentsp. 267