Archive for the ‘40’s Comedians’ Category

Rodney Dangerfield

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Dangerfield during an open air show in New York in 1978
Born Jacob Rodney Cohen
November 22, 1921
Deer Park, New York, U.S.
Died October 5, 2004 (aged 82)
Westwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Stand-up comedian, actor
Years active 1940–1949, 1962–2004
Spouses Joyce Indig (m. 1949; div. 1962)
Joyce Indig (m. 1963; div. 1970)
Joan Child (m. 1993; his death 2004)
Children 2
Comedy career
Medium Stand-up, film
Genres Surreal humor, Wit, Black comedy, Deadpan, Jewish humor, insult comedy
Influences Groucho Marx, W. C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy, Henny Youngman, Don Rickles
Influenced Norm Macdonald, Conan O’Brien, Robert Klein, Bob Saget, Chris Rock
Website rodney.com
Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004) was an American stand-up comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!” and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film roles, especially in Easy Money, Caddyshack, and Back to School.

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Dangerfield was born in Deer Park, in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. He was the son of Jewish parents, the vaudevillian performer Phil Roy (Philip Cohen) and Dotty Teitelbaum. His ancestors came to the United States from Hungary. Dangerfield’s father was rarely home; Rodney would normally see him only twice a year. Late in life, Rodney’s father begged him for forgiveness and Dangerfield forgave him.

After his father abandoned the family, his mother moved him and his sister to Kew Gardens, Queens, and he attended Richmond Hill High School, where he graduated in 1939. To support himself and his family, he sold newspapers, ice cream at the beach, and delivered groceries.

At the age of 15, he began to write for stand-up comedians, and he himself began to perform at a resort in Ellenville, New York, at the age of 19 under the name Jack Roy, to which he legally changed his name. He struggled financially for nine years, at one point performing as a singing waiter until he was fired, and also working as a performing acrobatic diver before giving up show business to take a job selling aluminum siding to support his wife and family. He later said that he was so little known then that “at the time I quit, I was the only one who knew I quit!”

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Abbott & Costello

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Abbott (left) and Costello (right) circa 1940s.
Born United States
Medium Stand-up, television, film, vaudville, radio
Nationality American
Genres Word play, slapstick, deadpan
William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello were an American comedy duo whose work in vaudeville and on stage, radio, film and television made them the most popular comedy team during the 1940s and early 1950s. Their patter routine “Who’s on First?” is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time and set the framework for many of their

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Abbott & Costello Part One

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United States
Medium Stand-up, television, film, vaudville, radio
Nationality American
Genres Word play, slapstick, deadpan
William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello were an American comedy duo whose work in vaudeville and on stage, radio, film and television made them the most popular comedy team during the 1940s and early 1950s. Their patter routine “Who’s on First?” is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time and set the framework for many of their best-known comedy bits.

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