Comedy Specials

PAPER CLIP PRODUCTIONS produced the following one-hour comedy specials which aired originally on HBO.  In its early days, HBO’s biggest strength was its lineup of stand-up specials.  Remembering how hard it was for him starting out, Rodney Dangerfield used his specials to give exposure to unknown comics whose talent he admired.
“9th Annual Young Comedians Special”–1984
 
Rodney’s eye for talent was unmatched as evidenced by the breakout performances of the comedians he showcased in his first one-hour HBO special.  Filmed on location at Dangerfield’s Nightclub in NY, Rodney performs briefly and then introduces rookies Louie Anderson, Sam Kinison, Rita Rudner, Bob Saget and Yakov Smirnoff to the national stage for the first time.    
“It’s Not Easy Being Me”–1986
 
As host and ringleader of his second one-hour HBO Special, Rodney performs a set and a mix of short sketches.  One highlight includes taking a trip down the aisle with then unknown “domestic goddess” Roseanne Barr.  Rodney introduces her and another future star, Jerry Seinfeld.  Robert Townsend, Jeff Altman, Bob Nelson and Sam Kinison also perform.  
“Nothing Goes Right”–1988
 
Rodney Dangerfield’s Comedy Club serves as the setting for this HBO on location hour of stand up and comedy sketches welcoming new talent Andrew Dice Clay, Dom Irrera, Carol Leifer, Lenny Clark, and the late Robert Schimmel and Bill Hicks.  Rodney, of course, hosts and performs.  Barry Sobel (of Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise fame) also appears.  The Bill Hicks set is particularly interesting, as he hasn’t embraced his acerbic social commentary fully yet at this point. By the end, you can see where he was headed. This is a quality collection of comedic talent.
“Opening Night at Rodney’s Place”–1989
 
Get ready for some hard-core comedy sketches and a wild time celebrating the grand opening of Rodney’s Las Vegas nightclub, Rodney’s Place.  The talent includes Tim Allen, Jeff Foxworthy and Thea Vidale, as well as undercard comics John Fox, Larry Reeb, and Greg Travis. The foundations of Allen and Foxworthy’s trademark acts are seen in their early sets.  Sam Kinison does a guest shot as himself in a sketch to cheer up Rodney when he finds out his girl has cheated on him.  In another sketch, Rodney wants to be a porn star.  However when he auditions for the part, he finds out all men are not created equal.  Ron Jeremy also makes a guest appearance. 
“The Really Big Show”–1991
 
This time Rodney’s search for the hottest up-and-coming comedians for his HBO special, isn’t an easy one.  Guests include Corbin Bernsen, Jamie Farr, Linda Gray,  Fred Willard, Mr. T. and the late Steve Allen.  Comedians Bob Zany, Hugh Fink, Sid Youngers and Harry Basil are the newcomers introduced.  None of them go on to become household names, but it is still an enjoyable show.
 
PAPER CLIP PRODUCTIONS produced the following one-hour network specials–At the peak of his powers when he ruled the comedy world in the mid to late 80’s, Rodney Dangerfield hosted his own prime-time SNL-style classic comedy shows on ABC.

Network Specials

PAPER CLIP PRODUCTIONS produced the following one-hour network specials–At the peak of his powers when he ruled the comedy world in the mid to late 80’s, Rodney Dangerfield hosted his own prime-time SNL-style classic comedy shows on ABC.

“It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me”–1982
 
Starring Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Aretha Franklin, and Valerie Perrine.  
 
Excerpt from NY Times review:  
 
You can analyze Rodney Dangerfield’s humor all you want; the plain fact is that he’s so widely beloved because he’s very funny nearly all of the time. There are no wasted words, no obscure concepts, no punches pulled. To wit:  ”I told my wife a man is like good wine; he gets better with age. So she locked me in the cellar.” Or: ”I called my doctor last week. I told him, ‘Doc, I swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills.’ He told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.”  
 
In the first five minutes of his special, he tells no less than a dozen jokes – the same rapid-fire approach he uses in his stand-up act.  Indeed, tonight’s special rarely falters. Mr. Dangerfield is funny doing his one-liners. He is funny in hopeless pursuit of his guest star, Valerie Perrine, who informs him, when he leans over to kiss her hello, that she’s sorry but ”you’re not allowed to touch me – it’s in my contract.” And he is funniest in several sketches with Bill Murray, a comic performer whose manic enthusiasm seems perfectly suited to Mr. Dangerfield’s lambent despair.
“I Can’t Take It No More”–1983
 
Starring Rodney Dangerfield, Angie Dickenson, Donna Dixon, Andy Kaufman, Robert Urich, and Harold Ramis. 
 
The first sketch is “Flashpants,” a parody, with Rodney as a dancer named Axel who performs for a bar full of screaming women, including Angie Dickinson, but yearns to weld his way to the top. Rodney also plays a maitre d’ at a hot-dog stand; the amazing Mr. Party-saver, who rescues a bash so dull that guests resorted to doing the paper towel absorbency test; and the drill instructor, a la Lou Gossett, at Camp HaHa, which teaches toddlers to be comedians.
 
At a meeting of Losers’ Anonymous, presided over by Robert Urich in a Chicago Cubs T-shirt, Dangerfield performs his current hit single “Rappin’ Rodney,” and later he slips back into the kind of role he played in “Caddyshack”: an uncouth boor on a blind date with Donna Dixon. 
“Exposed”–1985
 
Starring Rodney Dangerfield, Harvey Korman, Morgan Fairchild, Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith.
 
Rodney’s final ABC show, “Exposed,” has a theme where all the sketches are from a tabloid magazine. The musical numbers, one done to the rhythm of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” feature a crowd of singing and dancing ’80s stereotypes.  In one hilarious sketch Rodney appears dressed as a very unappealing merman who has been caught and placed in captivity for study by world-famous deep sea researcher who was raised by seals played by Harvey Korman.