Book review

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.

it's me...Rodney by Robert Russell Marquardt

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Robert Russell Marquardt
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