Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004) was an American 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.
On Sunday, March 5, 1967, The Ed Sullivan Show needed a last-minute replacement for another act, and Dangerfield became the surprise hit of the show.
Dangerfield began headlining shows in Las Vegas and made frequent encore appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. He became a regular on The Dean Martin Show and appeared on The Tonight Show a total of 35 times. One of his quips as a standup comedian was, "I walked into a bar the other day and ordered a drink. The bartender says, 'I can't serve you.' I said, 'Why not, I'm over 21?' He said, 'You're just too ugly.' I said as always, 'Boy I tell you, I get no respect around here'." The "no respect" phrase would come to define his act in the years that followed.
In 1969, Rodney Dangerfield teamed up with longtime friend Anthony Bevacqua to build the Dangerfield's comedy club in New York City. Rodney now had a venue in which to perform on a regular basis, without having to constantly travel. The club became a huge success. Dangerfield's has been in continuous operation for over 40 years.Dangerfield's was the venue for several HBO shows which helped popularize many standup comics, including Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr, Robert Townsend, Jeff Foxworthy, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Rita Rudner, Andrew Dice Clay, Louie Anderson, Dom Irrera and Bob Saget.
His 1980 comedy album, No Respect, won a Grammy Award. One of his TV specials featured a musical number, "Rappin' Rodney", which would appear on his 1983 follow-up album, Rappin' Rodney. In December, 1983, the "Rappin' Rodney" single became one of the first Hot 100 rap records, and the associated video was an early MTV hit. The video featured cameo appearances by Don Novello (akaFather Guido Sarducci) as a last rites priest munching on Rodney's last meal of fast food in a styrofoam container and Pat Benatar as a masked executioner pulling a hangman's knot. The two appear in a dream sequence where Dangerfield is condemned to die and doesn't get any respect even in Heaven, as the gates close without his being permitted to enter.
Though his acting career had begun much earlier in obscure movies like The Projectionist (1971),  Dangerfield's career peaked during the early 1980s, when he began acting in hit comedy movies.
One of Dangerfield's more memorable performances was in the 1980 golf comedy Caddyshack, in which he played a nouveau richedeveloper who was a guest at a golf club and began shaking up the establishment of the club's old guard. His role was initially smaller, but because he, Chevy Chase, and especially Bill Murray (who also appeared in the movie) were so deft at improvisation, their roles were greatly expanded, much to the chagrin of some of their castmates. His appearance in Caddyshack led to starring roles in Easy Money and Back To School.
Throughout the 1980s, Dangerfield also appeared in a series of commercials for Miller Lite beer, including one where various celebrities who had appeared in the ads were holding a bowling match whose score became tied. After a bearded Ben Davidson told Rodney, "All we need is one pin, Rodney", Dangerfield's ball went down the alley and bounced perpendicularly off the head pin, landing in the gutter without knocking down any of the pins.
In a change of pace from the comedy persona that made him famous, he played an abusive father in Natural Born Killers in a scene for which he wrote or rewrote all of his own lines.
Dangerfield was rejected for membership in the Motion Picture Academy in 1995 by the head of the Academy's Actors Section, Roddy McDowall. After fan protests the Academy reconsidered, but Dangerfield then refused to accept membership.
Dangerfield appeared in an episode of The Simpsons titled "Burns, Baby Burns" wherein he played a character who is essentially a parody of his own persona, Mr. Burns' sonLarry Burns. He also appeared as himself in an episode of Home Improvement.
Dangerfield also appeared in the 2000 Adam Sandler film Little Nicky, playing Lucifer, the father of Satan (Harvey Keitel) and grandfather of Nicky (Sandler).
He was recognized by the Smithsonian Institution, which put one of his trademark white shirts and red ties on display. When he handed the shirt to the museum's curator, Rodney joked, "I have a feeling you're going to use this to clean Lindbergh's plane."
Dangerfield played an important role in comedian Jim Carrey's rise to stardom. In the 1980s, after watching Carrey perform at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Rodney signed Carrey to open for his Las Vegas show. The two would tour together for about two more years.