Los Angeles, Ca. – Wes Anderson’s agent, Gil Rubenstein, came forth yesterday to announce that he has been part of Anderson’s scheme to re-package Rodney Dangerfield’s jokes as fodder for a quirky indie movie 7 years ago.
“My conscience can’t take it anymore,” said Rubinstein, knuckling away tears at his press-conference. “Poor Rodney’s probably rolling over in his grave and he’d be the first to tell you, he just don’t get no respect! And fucking Wes Anderson gets so much respect he’s started to wear skinny scarves almost every day,” Rubinstein said gesturing grandly for emphasis. “Every freakin’ day.”
Rubinstein revealed that Anderson discovered Dangerfield’s comedy in college and would practice telling jokes at parties with tepid results. “He would put on his loudest checked blazer, tie his tie too loose so he could always be adjusting it, and just joke about his wife to any classmate who would listen.” He would try lines like, “Having sex with my wife is like magic, the moment I get in bed she disappears.” Also, “I was an ugly kid. How ugly? I was so ugly my mother breast fed me through a straw.” Needless to say, Anderson didn’t quite have the rough-hewn, old-man personality — hell, the funny personality — to pull it off. It was sad to watch. It makes sense he would just have someone with boatloads of charisma do them. God, that made bank.”
When asked why he was coming forward about the deceit now, Rubinstein answered, “I noticed that a compilation of old variety shows that Rodney used to do became available on Netflix. I figured some comedy nerd kid would watch it and figure it out. I just wanted to go on record that I voluntarily gave of this information and will not cause problems with the estate of the Dangerfields.”
Exposed, a Rodney Dangerfield ABC special from 1984, was consulted for confirmation. Among the musical scenes and footage of Dangerfield doing stand-up, a sketch was discovered. In the sketch, Rodney Dangerfield appears dressed as a very unappealing merman who has been caught and placed in captivity for study by a “Jacques Closetoe” a world-famous deep sea researcher who was raised by seals.
As you can see, the similarities between Mr. Closetoe and Mr.Zissou are remarkably many:
In the sketch, a reporter questions the merman with things like, “Is it hard to walk with a tail the size of yours?” To which he responds, “That’s funny, I was about to ask you the same thing!” The standard Dangerfield mugging and carrying on for the camera is present. The Jacques Closetoe character retains a snobby French character stance throughout the scene.
When asked about the similarities between the character Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and this specific sketch on Rodney Dangerfield’s Exposed special, Anderson reacted with surprise. “I wouldn’t have thought that my audience would be interested in such a gauche comic as Rodney Dangerfield. Well, if they have time to spend watching relics from the 80s then maybe they aren’t working hard enough at occuypying their respective streets and launching etsy shops,” he sniffed.
On the compilation disc, Rodney Dangerfield: No Respect: The Ultimate Collection: Disc 1, Steve Zissou himself, Bill Murray, can be seen acting in the other ABC special included therein It’s Not that Easy Bein’ Me (1981) as both a psychiatrist and superhero, in other sketches. The connection between Murray acting on Dangerfield’s special in the 80s and then reappearing as a bastardized version of Jacques Closetoe in the ‘00s is hard to ignore. When asked for a statement on this matter, Murray begrudgingly spat out, “I don’t pick out my costumes! I don’t even brush my hair. I did The Garfield Movie for godsakes. Leave me alone.”
Though no legal action has yet been filed against Wes Anderson or Gil Rubenstein by the Dangerfield estate it is reported that his widow, Joan Child, has avowed to treat Anderson and Rubinstein with the same level of respect that Rodney reserved for her. “If I recall correctly, he whored around New York and L.A. and never quit his drug habit, which he had promised me had done years back. Obviously, he was on something, just look at those bug eyes.”
“It was hard to deal with him sexually from the start, really. Once, he called and asked to come over. I said, “Sure, there’s nobody home.” Well, when he came over…there was nobody home.”
“I used to be afraid of the dark. But once I saw Rodney naked I became afraid of the light. That man, always solving my problems. But he did sometimes say some naughty things about me. For instance, he would say that he shouldn’t talk bad about his wife because she’s attached to a machine that keeps her alive…. The refrigerator. I can’t really cook either. At our house, you prayed after you ate. We bought a pressure cooker…then we were eating off the ceiling. I can’t cook at all. I made chocolate mousse and an antler got stuck in Rodney’s throat!”
“You know, living with Rodney wasn’t a cakewalk. We went to a bar and he asked the bartender to make him a Zombie and the guy said God beat him to it. Rodney told his doctor it makes him sick to look in the mirror and the doc said, I don’t know what’s wrong with ya, but your eyes are fine. Well, that’s how you know when you’re ugly. On Halloween, I sent the kids out…dressed as Rodney. One Halloween some kid tried to pull Rodney’s face off! And our kids, they used to flip a coin to see who has to kiss him goodnight!
He was an ugly kid, too. He asked his old man to take him to the zoo. He said if they want ya, they’ll come and get ya.
That’s the story of his life, I tell ya. No respect. Once he was drowning and yelling, “Help! Help!” So the lifeguard runs over and says, “hey buddy, keep it down.” He don’t get no respect from anyone.
“Another time, he called up suicide prevention and they tried to talk him into it! Aw, I just miss him so much.”
“On second thought, I’ll be happy to receive creative royalties from Mr. Anderson and by extension Mr. Murray for the back-end sales of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I don’t just give away my money you know. Once Rodney told me that we needed a home improvement loan, so I paid him $1000 to move out.”
Written by Kelli