It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Mar 1, 2005 - Humor - 288 pages

An American comic icon tells the story of his second–act rise from obscurity to multimedia stardom.

"When I was a kid," writes Rodney Dangerfield, "I worked tough places in show business––places like Fonzo's Knuckle Room. Or Aldo's, formerly Vito's, formerly Nunzio's. That was a tough joint. I looked at the menu. They had broken leg of lamb." For once, one of America's most beloved comic icons isn't kidding. Dangerfield has seen every aspect of the entertainment industry: the rough–and–tumble nightclubs, the backstage gag–writing sessions, the drugs, the hookers, the lousy day jobs – and the red–carpet star treatment. As he traces his route from a poor childhood on Long Island to his enshrinement as a comedy legend, he takes readers on a roller–coaster ride through a life that has been alternately touching, sordid, funny, raunchy, and uplifting – equal parts "Little Orphan Annie" and "Caligula." And unlike most celebrity autobiographers, he seems to have no qualms about delivering the unfiltered whole story, warts and all.

Dangerfield's personal story is also a rollicking show business tale, full of marquee name–droppings (Adam Sandler, Sam Kinison, Jim Carrey, Johnny Carson, Jerry Seinfeld) and good stories about same. Defying the old saws about the fleeting nature of fame and the dearth of second acts in American life, Dangerfield transformed himself from a debt–ridden aluminium–siding salesman named Jack Roy to a multimedia superstar – and stayed an icon for decades. His catchphrase – "I get no respect" – has entered the lexicon, and he remains a visible cultural presence and perennial talk–show guest.

Dangerfield's hilarious and inspiring musings should thrill comedy fans and pop–culture watchers, and his second–act comeback will strike a chord with readers of all stripes. Maybe he'll even get some respect.



I Was a Male Hooker
How Can I Get a Job Like That?
Plans for Conquering the World
Very Naked from the Waist Up
Needed 3000 to Get Out of Jail
Why Didnt You Tell Me You Were Funny?
Some Show Business on the Side
Let the Good Times Roll
A Night with Lenny Bruce
Stuck in a Bag of Mixed Nuts
Im Not Going
Three Lucky Breaks
Turkeys in Wheelchairs
My Heart Started Doing Somersaults
End of the Line

I Am Not High
Can I Have Your Autograph
and More Butter?
Afterword by Roseanne Barr

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 252 - ... There's so many places they can hide." 14. My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday. 15. I'm so ugly... I worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big I'd get. 1 6. 1 went to see my doctor. "Doctor, every morning when I get up and I look in the mirror...! feel like throwing up; What's wrong with me?
Page xi - Rodney had dropped out of the business when he was thirty but had come back and made it when he was in his forties. Made it big. In a business that almost always values youth over talent, he was — and still is — absolute proof that it's never too late to make your mark. You may have to quit for a while and sell some aluminum siding, but you don't have to give up your dreams.
Page 11 - Tralee," you loved him. It was hard to believe that this was the same man who'd tell students "you're getting one
Page xi - I did stand-up in clubs for fifteen years and sometimes the only thing that kept me going was the thought that Rodney had dropped out of the business when he was thirty but had come back and made it when he was in his forties.
Page 107 - He keeps barking at the front door. He don't want to go out. He wants me to leave.
Page 6 - In my life I've been through plenty. When I was three years old, my parents got a dog. I was jealous of the dog, so they got rid of me.
Page 35 - With my wife I don't get no respect. I made a toast on her birthday to "the best woman a man ever had.
Page 24 - With my wife, I got no sex life. She cut me down to once a month. Hey, I'm lucky — two guys I know she cut out completely.
Page 102 - With me, nothing goes right. My psychiatrist said my wife and I should have sex every night. Now we'll never see each other! Thanks to my "What's in a Name" bit, I got booked on the biggest TV show in England, The Eamon Andrews Show.

About the author (2005)

Rodney Dangerfield lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Bibliographic information