Rodney Dangerfield Gave This Comedy Legend The Worst Advice Ever

Rodney Dangerfield, one of the biggest stand-up comedians of the 1970s and 1980s, had a lovable loser persona epitomized by his signature "I don't get no respect," line as he pulled on his too-tight collar. In 1980, he was at the top of his game, having just appeared in the comedy hit "Caddyshack." He also owned a successful Manhattan comedy club and had an ongoing Las Vegas act, according to Biography and the Las Vegas Sun.

When Dangerfield came sauntering into the Comic Strip comedy club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that year, a teenage comedian asked if Dangerfield would watch his set and give him some advice, according to W Magazine. No one wanted to go on after the comedy legend, but the young aspiring comic, admittedly cocky, did just that. Afterward, Dangerfield told the kid exactly what he thought of the act and that he might want to change the tenor of his routine. The young comedian was crestfallen, but ignored the older man's advice and refused to change his act. It was the best decision he ever made.

A young comedian finds success by ignoring Rodney Dangerfield's adviceĀ 

Rodney Dangerfield, born in 1921, was from another generation, so when he watched a young Eddie Murphy's profanity-laced routine that included "edgy racial stuff" he was taken aback and told Murphy: "Hey kid, I don't know where you're gonna go with the language and the race stuff," Eddie Murphy recounted to W Magazine back in 2020.

As it would turn out, Murphy would go straight to the top. That same year when Murphy was only 19, he joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live," a stepping-stone to a massive career in standup, film, writing, and producing (and even a short-lived music career) in the 1980s and beyond, per Britannica. His 1983 stand-up concert film "Delirious," was filled with profanity, sexual content, race-related jokes, and homophobic material (he later apologized for using homophobic slurs in the film, per The New York Times). Even so, it was a hit as was his equally profane second stand-up concert film, 1987s "Eddie Murphy Raw," which did even better, grossing more than $50 million, per Box Office Mojo.

Rodney Dangerfield admits he was wrong

A few years after Rodney Dangerfield gave Eddie Murphy such bad advice, Murphy was in the bathroom of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas standing at a urinal when Dangerfield walked in, and sidled up to the urinal next to Murphy, according to W Magazine. The older comedian turned to Murphy, who was wearing one of his iconic leather suits, shrugged, and said with a deadpan expression: "Hey, who knew?" Apparently, Murphy did. His net worth as of 2022 is $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Dangerfield continued to have success through the 1980s with such films as "Easy Money" and "Back to School," for which he also wrote the screenplays, had a Broadway show, and won a Grammy for his 1981 comedy album "No Respect," according to Biography. And although Dangerfield may have given Murphy some lousy career advice, he helped launch the careers of many stand-up comedians, including Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler, through his Manhattan comedy club. He died in 2004 from heart-related surgical complications, at age 82.