Friday, May 6, 2016

It's Not Easy Bein' Me

I’m the world’s biggest sap when it comes to a good underdog story; one in which the lovable loser beats insurmountable odds and proves all the naysayers wrong, so Rodney Dangerfield’s autobiography, It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me, checked all the boxes for me. This weekend’s read was equal parts funny, entertaining, and touching. Rodney wrote the book in his 80s, and captured a host of fascinating topics; from his less than ideal childhood which really served as the impetus for his career and lifelong search for love and acceptance, his experiences in the comedy club scene of years past, and his departure from the industry at 28 and surprisingly successful comeback in his 40s.

Rodney interspersed life stories with his classic jokes and brought the reader along on a fun filled ride. Here are a few of my favorites:
"I told my doctor I broke my arm in two places. He told me to keep out of those places."

"I live in a tough neighborhood. They got a children's zoo. Last week, four kids escaped."

"A homeless guy came up to me on the street, said he hadn't eaten in four days. I told him, "Man, I wish I had your willpower.""

"I was an ugly kid. I worked in a pet store. People kept asking how big I get."
While I knew Rodney was a comedy icon, before this book I had no idea that we had him to thank for discovering other comedy greats like Jim Carrey, Sam Kinison and Roseanne Barr. With a career that touched fans of all ages, having appeared on shows from The Ed Sullivan Show to Late Night with Conan O’Brien, his trip down memory lane made for a fascinating read. As Jim Carrey said in the book’s foreword, while “I don’t get no respect” might have been Rodney’s classic setup for jokes, this comedy legend has always received nothing but love and respect from his fans – this new fan included.