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Scoffing at Dangerfield: It's what he would have wanted

Gene Weingarten on

Something was becoming clear. Rodney didn't like mean-spirited jokes, even good ones. Death was out. Grossness was out. What I learned next about Rodney defies easy explanation. He didn't get one joke because he'd never heard of the expression "use The Force." Then there was this exchange, on the next entry:

Me: "I told my wife, 'Let's have sex like animals.' She said, 'All right, I'll be a possum.'"

Rodney: "A possum is what again, now?"

Me: "An animal that rolls over and plays dead."

Rodney: "Everyone knows that?"

Me: "Everyone but Rodney Dangerfield."

Rodney: "OK, that's good, then."

That became his second winner.

I read him six more that didn't seem all that funny to me, but Rodney liked three of them. He turned some of them around, gave all of them his delivery, and they became terrific. They were his final three winners:

"This girl is ugly. She hands out whistles to construction workers."

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