Yesterday I posted one of Rodney Dangerfield’s greatest appearances on Johnny Carson. Today we’re seeing him on The Mike Douglas Show in 1969. This is one of his earliest TV appearances (it’s shortly after his breakthrough opening for Dionne Warwick at The Sands) so it’s important to view it through the eyes of those who’d never yet heard of him, seen his routine or experienced his very individualistic style. It’s a little like watching The Marx Brothers in ‘The Cocoanuts’–we’re used to them now but in 1929 most people around the country hadn’t experienced them yet and one can only imagine the shock that their sudden explosion into existence provoked. Rodney is great here–not yet fully up to breakneck speed in his timing (but very close) and already using jokes that he’d keep in the repertoire for years. Imagine seeing this man for the first time–this middle-aged huckster who comes on like a car salesman sweating a sale in order to make his monthly quota–and then hearing what comes tumbling forth from his beleaguered mind…


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