Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs
By Amber Mitchell
TWO DRINK MINIMUM Issue 10 June 2004

Rodney Dangerfield, as he has touted for decades, gets no respect. He's built an entire act on this theme and never seems to run out of jokes tightly focused on it. But as it turns out, there's a lot more to know about the comic formerly known as Jacob Cohen.

Dangerfield's new memoir, It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs is self-effacing and brutally honest, peppered with pictures and his trademark two-liners. It's 268 pages of Who's Who in comedy told through first-hand stories from the ultimate sad clown.

It's Not Easy is filled with tragedy from a life that starts out too blue-collar to be true. Born to a cold-hearted mother and absent father, Dangerfield grew up unsupervised in Queens, New York, developing his downtrodden foundation that would pay off big in the end. Dangerfield's narration is just bittersweet and nostalgic enough to make you believe that perhaps the character with the bug-eyed side smirk isn't all just an act. His tales of sex, drugs and alcohol are vulgar, but through it all Dangerfield passes himself off to be an innocent bystander to the side effects of fame.

Most remarkable about Dangerfield is that he actually had two careers in comedy, one that started in his late teens and another that began mid-life. Of course he is better known for the second phase, the one that included Caddyshack, more than 70 appearances on The Tonight Show and of course the memorable Ladybugs. He opened the still-successful Dangerfield's comedy club on First Avenue in New York. Nonetheless, as Dangerfield tells it, the title of the book is true, comedy is tough and being Rodney ain't easy.

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