The wisdom of Rodney


The following post consists of quotations from Rodney Dangerfields book: RODNEY DANGERFIELD It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me.

I began writing jokes when I was fifteen. I think I was so unhappy all the time that I was trying to forget reality with jokes. I was always depressed, but I could tell a joke and get a laugh. But not from my mother…
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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…. I’ll take love anyway I can get it.
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Show business was my escape from life. I had to have it. It was like a fix. I needed it to survive.
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At twenty-eight, I decided to quit show business…. To give you an idea of how well I was doing at the time I quit, I was the only one who knew I quit.
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I sold aluminum siding for twelve years. I made a decent living, but I wasn’t living. I was out of show business, but show business wasn’t out of me, so I did the only thing that made sense—I created a character based upon my feeling that nothing goes right.
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…I remember sitting in my dressing room waiting for the show to start. I looked out the window. It was raining, but the streets of midtown Manhattan were crowded, and I thought to myself. Look at all those people who are going to miss seeing me tonight on the Ed Sullivan Show.
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Forty years ago, I was feeling really depressed even more than I usually do, so Joe recommended a famous psychologist…. I still remember two things he told me:  People are all fucking crazy, and most of them are unethical.”
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I’ve talked with many psychologists and psychiatrists. It has cost me a lot of money, but at least I got a few jokes out of it.
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…I didn’t go because I knew I couldn’t be myself with Jack Benny…. Can you picture me saying to Jack Benny, “Man, I’m so depressed. It’s all too fucking much.”
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The worst depression I had was when I was in my seventies…. For two years, I couldn’t function.
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I first started smoking pot back in 1942. I was twenty-one…
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All the stories you hear about being getting wild on marijuana are ridiculous…. Booze is the real culprit in our society.
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When you’re high, you become an avid reader…. one night I smoked some pot, then started reading the newspaper. An hour later, I said to myself, What am I doing? I was reading about fishing conditions in Anchorage. And I don’t even fish. And the paper was a month old.
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I was sitting in an airport…. There was no one around, so I lit up a joint…. Suddenly a cop came running toward me.
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…I ended up in intensive care…. I thought, Hey, there aren’t too many people here, and it’s dark. I’ll light up a joint… Two minutes later, a security guard came over….
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…I now have written authorization from a California doctor that allows me to smoke pot…. Wish I’d had that prescription thirty years ago; life would have been easier.
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It’s hard for me to accept the fact that soon my life will be over. No more Super Bowls. No more Chinese food. No more sex. And the big one, no more smoking pot.
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One time I said to him [Rodney’s father], “You’ve travelled all over the country, must have slept with a hundred women. You’ve done everything, been through it all. What’s life all about? What’s the answer?”
He twirled his cigar and said, “It’s all bullshit.”
You can’t fully appreciate that line until you’re old.
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Living as long as I have, you can’t help but look back on life and wonder what does it all mean. Sometimes I don’t even think I’ve made it. Even today, if I check into a hotel and the bellman picks up my suitcase, I feel awkward.
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I can accept getting older. I can even accept getting old, but dying? Man, that’s a tough one to accept.
Life’s a short trip. You’ll find out.
You were seventeen yesterday. You’ll be fifty tomorrow. Life is tough…. 
What do you think life is? Moonlight and canoes? That’s not life. That’s in the movies.
Life is fear and tension and worry and disappointments.
Life. I’ll tell you what life is. Life is having a mother-in-law who sucks and a wife who don’t. That’s what life is.

Photo by Alan Light

15 comments:

Sonia Rodriguez said...

Man I have been out of touch with world news and I didnt even know Rodney died.

xoxxo

Stephen Hayes said...

You and I have several things in common, such as I love pot--even though I'm not creative while using it and that makes me restrict my usage. And I also wanted to be a comedian when younger. I bet as time goes by we'll discover more things we have in common.

Snowbrush said...

"Man I have been out of touch with world news and I didnt even know Rodney died."

Shame, shame, shame. Ha. I found that I enjoyed his book more than his comedy.

"I also wanted to be a comedian when younger."

Oops, I should have used quotation marks. The whole post consisted of quotes by Rodney Dangerfield.

The Elephant's Child said...

And quite a lot of these quotes do strike me as wise. Which probably says more about me than it does about Rodney.

The Blog Fodder said...

Always been a fan of his. Neither of us got any respect and his jokes resonate so well with me.
I shall have to read the book.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like something I'd enjoy reading. I always liked him.

lotta joy said...

Such is why I write a humor blog and tell surgeons half a joke before they knock me out. I'm trying to earn love.

PhilipH said...

You know something? I've never heard of this guy before!
OK, we can't know about everybody but it seems I've missed out on a pretty interesting chap; I'll be googling him up shortly.
Thanks for the quotes; great stuff.

Snowbrush said...

"I've never heard of this guy before!"

Then you won't have heard the following jokes...

I told my doctor that when I woke up in the morning I couldn't stand looking at myself in the mirror. He said, "At least we know your vision is perfect."

To give you an idea how well I was doing at the time I quit [he had given up on show business in 1949], I was the only one who knew I quit.

If it weren't for pickpockets, I'd have no sex life at all.

My dog learned how to beg by watching me through the bedroom door.

I was an ugly child. I got lost on the beach. I asked a cop if he could find my parents. He said, 'I don't know. There's lots of places for them to hide'.

Last week my house was on fire. My wife told the kids, 'Be quiet, you'll wake up Daddy'.

I was ugly, very ugly. When I was born, the doctor smacked my mother.

My mother never breast-fed me. She told me she liked me better as a friend.

At my age, making love is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.

When I get in an elevator, the operator takes one look and says, "Basement?"

Comedy is a camouflage for depression.

I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.

My psychiatrist told me I was crazy, and I said I wanted a second opinion. He said, 'Okay, you're ugly too.'

I looked up my family tree and found three dogs using it.

I'm taking Viagra and drinking prune juice. I don't know if I'm coming or going.

My wife was afraid of the dark. Then she saw me naked, and now she's afraid of the light.

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.

My cousin's gay. He went to London only to find out that Big Ben is a clock.

I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

What a kid I've got. I told him about the birds and the bees, and he told me about the butcher and my wife.

Myrna R. said...

Love this post Snow. Makes me smile 'cause I'm old enough to relate and i really like Rodney.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Great quotes.

PhilipH said...

Thanks for those fabulous one-liners Snowy. Brilliant, and so true in some instances, e.g. "Comedy is a camouflage for depression..." Not a lol joke of course but such a truism in some cases: Tony Hancock, Kenny Williams are two that spring to my mind. Both quite brilliant in different ways; each one thinking they were 'no good'.
Thanks again Snowy.

The Bipolar Diva said...

A totally different side to him. I think I need to get the book. It seems he had it right. <3

All Consuming said...

I agree with much that he wrote and his jokes are indeed funny enough to garner a few laughs from me. High praise indeed eh? *laughs.
"He twirled his cigar and said, “It’s all bullshit.” - And that's the end of the show folks.

Sonia Rodriguez said...

Checking in on you..How are you feeling and doing? I found a pain specialist today who is knowledgeable in Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. First time I was with a Dr who understood and didnt make feel like it was all in my head or wanted to just throw meds at me. I took myself off the lexapro it made me feel heavy and foggy not helping but setting me backwards not forwards. Love ya Snow xoxoxo