Rodney Dangerfield

American stand-up comedian (1921–2004)

Jack Roy (born Jacob Rodney Cohen; November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), popularly known by the stage name Rodney Dangerfield, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter, musician and author. He was known for his self-deprecating one-liner humor, his catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme.

Rodney Dangerfield in 1978


  • I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous, everyone hasn't met me yet.
    • Quoted in Bob Fenster, Laugh Off: The Comedy Showdown Between Real Life and the Pros (2005), p. 37
  • There goes the neighborhood.
    • Epitaph, quoted in Patricia Brooks, Laid to Rest in California (2006), p. 20
  • If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour and a half.
    • His last words quoted in Rosemarie Jarski, ed., Funniest Thing You Never Said 2 (2010). p. 501

It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect But Plenty of Sex and Drugs (2004)

  • I was an ugly kid. When I was born, after the doctor cut the cord, he hung himself.
    • p. 4
  • 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.
    • p. 6
  • What a childhood I had. Once on my birthday my ol' man gave me a bat. The first day I played with it, it flew away.
    • p. 7
  • I told my doctor I broke my arm in two places. He told me to keep out of those places.
    • p. 8
  • When I was a kid, I never went to Disneyland. My ol' man told me Mickey Mouse died in a cancer experiment.
    • p. 9
  • When I was a kid I got no respect. When my parents got divorced there was a custody fight over me... and no one showed up.
    • p. 10
  • I like to date schoolteachers. If you do something wrong, they make you do it over again.
    • p. 12
  • My old man never liked me. He gave me my allowance in traveler's checks.
    • p. 13
  • I live in a tough neighborhood. They got a children's zoo. Last week, four kids escaped.
    • p. 14
  • 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."
    • p. 15
  • I tell ya, I grew up in a tough neighborhood. The other night a guy pulled a knife on me. I could see it wasn't a real professional job. There was butter on it.
    • p. 16
  • I was an ugly kid. I worked in a pet store. People kept asking how big I get.
    • p. 17
  • I tell ya, my wife's a lousy cook. After dinner, I don't brush my teeth. I count them.
    • p. 18
  • What a childhood I had. My mother never breast-fed me. She said she liked me as a friend.
    • p. 19
  • I tell ya, my family were always big drinkers. When I was a kid, I was missing. They put my picture on a bottle of Scotch.
    • p. 21
  • I tell ya, my wife likes to talk during sex. Last night, she called me from a motel.
    • p. 59
  • When I got back into show business in 1961, I felt — for obvious reasons — that nothing in my life went right, and I realized that millions of people felt the same way. So when I first came back my catch phrase was "nothing goes right." Early on, that was my setup for a lot of jokes.
    • p. 126.
  • Why, that's the story of my life--no respect; I mean, I don't get no respect at all!
    • p. 127





Because Dangerfield's signature style is to be self-demeaning, many jokes of this type by other comedians are wrongly attributed to Dangerfield.

  • I was so ugly... When I was born, the doctor slapped my mother!

Funniest Jokes. New York: Henny Youngman, 1976. Brochure. Cited in: Essays of an Information Scientist, Vol:4, p.515-518, 1979-80, Current Comments #26, p. 516, June 30, 1980 PDF.

About Dangerfield

  • Dangerfield, there has always been something else in addition to the comedian. This is a man who has failed at everything, even comedy. Rodney Dangerfield is his third name in show business; he flopped under two earlier names as well as his real name. Who is really at home inside that red, sweating face and that knowing leer? The most interesting thing about "Back to School," which is otherwise a pleasant but routine comedy, is the puzzle of Rodney Dangerfield. Here is a man who reminds us of some of the great comedians of the early days of the talkies - of Groucho Marx and W. C. Fields - because, like them, he projects a certain mystery. Marx and Fields were never just being funny. There was the sense that they were getting even for hurts so deep that all they could do was laugh about them. It's the same with Dangerfield.
    • Roger Ebert, reviewing the 1986 film Back to School which starred Dangerfield. [1]
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: