In Search of Rodney

By Jon Roig
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 19, 1996

...And so ended the interview, as quickly as it began. My new batch of questions, asking him such deep and meaningful queries as, "Are you doing any more movies soon?" were all for naught. I don't know about Rodney - you'd think he'd be interested in pr omoting his new comedy disk, "La Contessa," but he just kinda flaked on me. Rodney called me "kid," though ... so I forgive him.

His career could really use the boost, too. "I was doing so bad when I retired, that nobody even knew I was gone," he emotes on the stand-up portion of the CD.

Track 2, entitled "It's Lonely at the Top (When There's No One on the Bottom)," is Rodney's live stand-up comedy from the world-famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood, Calif. It's pretty standard fare for the man "who can't get no respect" - which is to say, even after all these years, Dangerfield can still whip a crowd into a frenzy.

"La Contessa," the first track on the album, is a lewd tale of sexual bravado, chock full o' atrocious puns and Dangerfield's signature self-deprecating humor. A romance novel of sorts, nobody can kiss and tell like Rodney. He sleeps with dozens of wome n, incessantly brags about the size of his member, and even contemplates sleeping with his own progeny. I half-expected him to break out into that Elton John song, "Don't let your Son go Down on Me," but instead had to remain satisfied with a non-musical version of this tale.

And that, perhaps, is the problem with "La Contessa." While Adam Sandler, and even Roseanne, include musical works on their albums to ensure future listens, Dangerfield has only himself and his winning personality to carry the performance. It works once , but I'm not sure that a repeat performance is in order.

The web site, however, is always a treat and never remains static. A treasure-trove of bad jokes, silly pictures, video footage, and random stuff 'n' nonsense - such as Dangerfield's rejection letter from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - the site is updated daily and is an excellent example of how a sense of humor and cyberspace make a deadly cocktail that makes you glad you aren't caught in one of those '80s body-switching movies and stuck in Rodney's shoes.

We've had our good times together, me 'n' Rod, but now it must pass like the changing seasons. All I've got to show for our time together is a nasty brain tumor from staring at the computer screen and an autographed GIF file, and I'm just too bitt er to look at it. He's a slut - he'll send his picture to anyone who asks nicely or fills out the little form. I've seen his "How Ugly Am I?" pre-plastic surgery image archives, heard tales of his insidious wife, and frolicked through the memories of hi s myriad lawsuits. Am I a better person for my experience? I don't know. But I feel like I'm one step closer to understanding why Rodney just can't get no respect ... and laughing all the way.