“Top 10 One-Liners Of Rodney Dangerfield” – Thursday’s Top Ten List

Created by Matthew J. Goldberg, tipofthegoldberg.com

Today’s Top Ten features a man who has received more fame, acclaim and yes, respect, for getting “no respect.” Of course, I speak of the one and only Jacob Cohen, son of Philip Cohen and Dotty Teitelbaum, of Deer Park, Babylon, of Long Island, New York.

Who? Oh yes, I speak of the legendary Jack Roy, a distinctive standup comedian whom you would know as Rodney Dangerfield—a man who kept us in stitches from laughter for most of his 82-plus years.

Born in 1921, Rodney Dangerfield (let’s stay with his much more familiar stage name) did not really get his first full break until 1967, when the Ed Sullivan Show needed a last-minute replacement act. He was a big hit. Almost thirty years after he started writing comedy bits at age 15—a period which included a nine-year retirement from show business and less than great success as an aluminum siding salesman—the man who (never) got no respect at all was on his way.

Dangerfield’s delivery was almost as rapid fire as the late, great Henny Youngman, and his material was even more self-deprecating and risqué in nature. Familiar themes that Rodney would continually mine for humor were: growing up poor in a tough neighborhood, growing up unloved by even his parents, having no sex life and mutual philandering—mostly by his wife. And last but not least, his self-deprecating jokes about his extreme lack of good looks often took center stage.

What can I say. His shtick worked well enough for Rodney (who kept Jack Roy as his legal name, even after he ditched it as a stage name) to enjoy one of the most successful comedy acts of all-time. He later became a big hit to a new generation of fans via his movies, including Caddyshack (1980), Easy Money (1983), Back to School (1986) and Natural Born Killers (in a serious role–1994).

As always, ranking just 10 of his great lines is not an easy task; I have tried to arrange this list categorically, which allows me to share multiple one-liners in most categories. Let’s get right to it. Feel free to sprinkle in his signature, “I tell ya, I get no respect—no respect at all” wherever needed. For a quick look at this master doing standup, check out this 1978 performance—courtesy of youtube.

10. FOOD AND DRINK

  • I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample, it had an olive in it.
  • I’m at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I’ve just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.

 

9. POVERTY

I was so poor growing up, if I wasn’t a boy, I’d have nothing to play with.

8. LACK OF SEX

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

7. NO RESPECT FROM THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous; everyone hadn’t met me yet.

6. WIFE’S PHILANDERING

  • What a kid I got. I told him about the birds and the bees and he told me about the butcher and my wife.
  • My wife met me at the door the other night with a sexy negligee. Unfortunately, she was just coming home.
  • With me, nothing goes right. My psychiatrist said my wife and I should have sex every night. Now, we’ll never see each other.

5. VISION

  • My wife was afraid of the dark, saw me naked, now she’s afraid of the light.
  • 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.”

4. MATRIMONIAL HARMONY

  • I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.
  • My wife and I were happy for 20 years. Then we met.
  • My wife’s always trying to get rid of me. The other night, she told me to put the garbage out. I said I did. She told me to keep an eye on it.
  • We sleep in separate rooms, we have dinner apart, we take separate vacations. We’re doing everything we can to keep our marriage together.

 

3. FAMILIAL LOVE

  • I remember the last time I was kidnapped, and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.
  • My uncle’s dying wish: he wanted me on his lap. He was on the electric chair.
  • I looked up my family tree and found three dogs using it.
  • When I was a kid, my parents moved around a lot. But I always found them.

2. MATERNAL LOVE

  • My mother never beast-fed me; she told me she only liked me as a friend.
  • I was so ugly, my mother used to feed me with a slingshot.

1. RODNEY’S GOOD LOOKS

  • When I was born, I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.
  • My mother had morning sickness after I was born.
  • When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.
  • Yeah, I know I’m ugly. I said to the bartender, “Make me a zombie.” He said, “God beat me to it.”

Well, on that fateful note, that concludes my list of the Top 10 one-liners delivered by the wickedly hilarious Rodney Dangerfield. Agree? Disagree? Have others to add? Please comment below. If you have any suggestions for this column or future lists, please also comment below or send me an email.

Matthew J. (call him Matt) Goldberg will be presenting a Jewish-style Top Ten list every Thursday on this site. For information about Matt’s books, sports columns, speaking events and requests for appearances and custom writing, please visit www.tipofthegoldberg.com, or contact him via email. His new Facebook Fan Page (“to like, to like, l’chayim”) can be found here.

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Matthew J. Goldberg About the Author: An author, speaker and custom writer from Cherry Hill, NJ, Matt loves to entertain people through his writing and public speaking. Laughs, Smiles and just enough Wisdom reach his audience through the magic of his written and spoken words. More about Matthew

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