We Don't Get--Or Give--No Respect

rodney dangerfield star

rodney dangerfield star

Rodney Dangerfield's star on the Hollywood walk of fame. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Boy, do I miss Rodney Dangerfield.

Friday is the 14th anniversary of his death at age 83, and there’s been no one before or since who could make me laugh like Rodney could. “I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out,” he once said. “I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”

And: “I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet.”

I am reminded of Rodney and his signature line about getting “no respect” often these days. It feels like everyone still wants to get respect, but giving it is a dying art.

There was the amazing sight the other day of an injured pro football player being carted off the field and making an obscene gesture – at his own team.

I’m sure Rodney could squeeze a half-dozen jokes out of that were he still with us.

If you are unfortunate enough to have to commute to work around here, you are very familiar with the decline of respect.

Drivers don’t respect the rules of the road or each other. MBTA riders who don’t bother to remove their bulging backpacks when they board a crowded train show disrespect for those around them.

And the pathetic spectacle of Washington politics these days is the worst example of all.

Once upon a time, senators and congressmen would fight over policy, but within certain rules and with a common denominator of respect, for the office if you couldn’t manage it for the person.

That’s all gone.

We used to have presidents who wouldn’t think of trashing an adversary who was dying of cancer.

No longer.

Rodney Dangerfield got laughs off the notion of a lack of respect.

These days, it’s no longer funny.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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