Saturday, April 01, 2006

It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me, by Rodney Dangerfield

(hb; 2004: autobiography)

Review:

Lightweight but inspirational read, heavily peppered with many of Dangerfield’s trademark, self-deprecating jokes.

Born in Babylon, New York, in 1921, Jacob Cohen (who later changed his name to Jack Roy, then to Rodney Dangerfield) had a crappy childhood. At fifteen, he started writing jokes – to quote Dangerfield: “I was always depressed, but I could tell a joke and my jokes were funny.”

Later, when he became an adult, he spent many working the club circuit, often broke, honing his act, until, later in his life, he became a star.

Dangerfield includes a notable number of non-explicit drug and sex experiences in his real-life narrative, some of them funny, some of them superfluous -- and brief.

Dangerfield also mentions people he worked with, gave a break to, or whose shows he was on: Ed Sullivan, Redd Foxx, Johnny Carson, Lenny Bruce, Jim Carrey, Ron Jeremy, Dean Martin, Andy Kaufman, Flip Wilson, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert Townsend, Jeff Foxworthy, Oliver Stone, Roseanna Barr, Andrew Dice Clay, Rita Rudner, Tim Allen, and Sam Kinison (to whom Dangerfield gives a heartfelt memoriam).

Dangerfield died on October 5, 2004, following a heart surgery complication and brief coma.

Dangerfield's comedic sense of timing makes It's Not Easy a smart, show business-informative, funny, inspiring and streamlined book.

Check it out.

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