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Rodney Dangerfield: Opening Night at Rodney's Place (1989)

TV-MA | | Comedy | TV Movie 1989
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1989 (USA)  »

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Tobey Maguire's first TV role. See more »

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Features Hollywood Hotel (1937) See more »

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Summed up in two words: devastatingly unfunny.
20 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this on some premium channel the other night, and let me just say it has not aged well. Is this what passed for comedy in 1989? Watching this now, you'd think that cursing in a comedy had just been invented. Every time someone drops the f-bomb, the hideously dressed and mostly white audience howls with laughter. Really? Sure, I used to laugh pretty hard when my friends and I would use a curse word, but that was when I was in second grade and wasn't supposed to be saying them.

To be fair, I'm sure shock comedy was the way to go then. Audiences weren't used to people screaming obscenities on stage, and the outrageousness of it must have been pretty funny. But you need more than that today. For comparison, watch The Aristocrats, a veritable how-to for weaving shock into real laughs. Without coherence, timing and (gasp!) actual jokes, the only thing this special elicits today is yawns.


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