I just started the Cool Dead People category and will probably not go back into the past for candidates, but since Rodney just died last week I think it’s okay.
Growing up in the 80’s Rodney Dangerfield was definitely a known comic figure to me. Movies like “Cadyshack” and “Back to School” still make me laugh when I catch them on TNT, USA, or the Comedy Channel. His stand up was really good as well. He was directly responsible for the careers of Jim Carrey and Sam Kinison, and several other comics (like Jerry Seinfeld) got a start at his club in New York. I think that Rodney got a lot of respect in the comedy business, even if he made a life off “getting no respect”.
NPR has an interview with Rodney from earlier in the year. During the interview you can see why Rodney had to tell jokes or pretty much be depressed. He didn’t have a good relationship with him mother and saw his dad about two hours a year while he was growing up. I’m glad he found the funny side of things.