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October 06, 2004 |

At Last, Respect: Rodney Dangerfield, 1921-2004

September 29, 2004 |

UPN or Made Up? by Geoff Wolinetz

April 14, 2004 |

Some Things You Ought to Have Mentioned before You Brought Me, Your Irish-Catholic Boyfriend, to Meet Your Parents at My First Seder Ever with Your Orthodox Family by Mick Stingley


At Last, Respect: Rodney Dangerfield, 1921-2004

An Obituary for a Comic,
Compiled Entirely from Trivia Gleaned from
the Internet Movie Database’s Biographical Page for the Actor

Jacob Cohen was born in Babylon, New York, in 1921.

At some point, he adopted the stage name Rodney Dangerfield. His trademark bit was self-deprecating one-liners.

His first big break was on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” a program he returned to 15 times. He made 70 appearances on “The Tonight Show.”

Through his HBO shows from Dangerfield's, he introduced Jim Carrey, Roseanne, Louie Anderson, Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Rita Rudner, Sam Kinison, Robert Townsend, Bob Saget, and Jeff Foxworthy to TV.

Wanting to remain near his children, he opened the now-legendary Manhattan comedy club that bears his name.

In 1949, he married Joyce Indig. They have two children, Brian and Melanie. They were divorced in 1961. Decades later, he would open Dangerfield’s, a comedy club in New York City, in order to be closer to his children.

Thanks to the HBO comedy series broadcast from Dangerfield’s, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sam Kinison got their big breaks on television. Unfortunately, so did Rita Rudner, Jeff Foxworthy, Roseanne, Tim Allen, Louie Anderson, and Bob Saget.

His album, No Respect, won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording in 1980. His single, “Rappin’ Rodney,” reached the No. 89 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1983.

On December 26th, 1993, he married Joan Child, a Mormon 30 years, 11 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days his junior.

In 1995, he launched, the first official Web site for an entertainer. Thanks to his pioneering spirit, now even Carrot Top is online.

The première of his 1997 film, Meet Wally Sparks, was held in the small town of Daingerfield, Texas, where a street was then named after him. Later that year, he for the first time spoke openly of his lifelong depression, although his previous cries for help were pretty thinly veiled in his comedy material.

On November 22nd, 2001, his 80th birthday, he suffered a mild heart attack. On April 8th, 2003, Mr. Dangerfield underwent brain surgery to improve his body’s blood flow in preparation for an upcoming heart-valve replacement surgery. After regaining consciousness from the surgery, his first request was to watch “The Jerry Springer Show.” This is probably a popular request following brain surgery.

On August 24th, his blood then flowing properly, he had his heart-valve replacement. In May of that year, between his brain and heart surgeries, his autobiography, It Ain’t Easy Being Me was published.

It is not easy to be someone undergoing heart and brain surgeries.

His trademark white button-down shirt and red necktie hang in permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.


UPN or Made Up?

“Kevin Hill”

Kevin Hill is a hotshot attorney and a hotshot bachelor, until he inherits a 10-month-old baby girl. As he struggles to adapt his lifestyle in order to take care of Sarah, his law firm starts to cut back his workload because they feel he’s unfocused. Kevin, insulted by their actions, quits and lands a job at an all-female boutique law firm that is coincidentally more understanding of his situation than he expected.

“The Impersonator”

This all-new reality show showcases the country’s greatest impersonators, as they tackle characters from former president Bill Clinton to game-show host Wink Martindale. Each week, the contestants perform a set of stunning tasks designed to display their ability to adapt their voice on the fly and at the end of each episode, one unlucky contestant goes home. Rich Little hosts the show, which will provide a voice-over contract with Disney to the winner.

“Second Time Around”

Despite putting on a loving display for their old marriage counselor, Jackson and Ryan are shocked after he writes an article claiming they still face the same problems they had the first go-round, but when they confront him, Jackson and Ryan realize he may be more right than they’d like to admit. Later, when Jackson decides to join Nigel’s country club, Ryan is coerced into pretending she’s more of a high-society socialite than she is in order to impress the committee members; not wanting to conform, Ryan plays the role to the extreme and sabotages the interview process.

“The Queen Latifah Show”

Jacqui (Queen Latifah) is a girl that always been “one of the guys,” but after a friend gets her a spa day for her birthday, Jacqui all of the sudden catches the eye of Jacque, a hotshot stockbroker and a longtime object of her affection. But when they finally go out to dinner, Jacqui finds out that Jacque may not be all that she thought he was. Later, Jacqui will learn how to embrace her new found beauty without comprising her “just one of the guys” attitude.

“Half & Half”

Half-sisters Mona and Dee Dee have only one thing in common: their father. Growing up separately, these two virtual strangers suddenly become neighbors in the same San Francisco apartment building and experience the challenges of sisterhood for the first time. Mona, a budding music executive, was raised to be an independent woman who does things in her own free-spirited and sometimes sardonic style. By contrast, younger sister Dee Dee is a privileged honor-roll college student searching for her own identity. Now in their twenties, these two vastly contrasting women are discovering the advantages and joys that the special bond of sisterhood offers. But their relationship is not without its problems, as they often clash on everything from morals to money to men. Meanwhile Spencer, Mona’s best friend, becomes the conscience of the group and helps build a bridge between the women.

Crappy shows really on UPN: “Half & Half,” “Second Time Around,” and “Kevin Hill.” Thankfully fake crappy shows: “The Impersonator” and “The Queen Latifah Show.”