Praise for Pat Cooper: "He's the comedian's comedian. I think."—Jerry Seinfeld "I'm one of his biggest fans."—Jerry Lewis "He's a great actor-comedian—but I'm not sure which one."—Robert De Niro "One of the funniest men on the planet . . . Venus."—Jason Alexander "I've never met a funnier man. Sure I have—it's me!"—Billy Crystal
Few comics today can say they have worked with the likes of George Burns, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Bobby Darin—but Pat Cooper can. Born Pasquale Caputo, the legendary comedian didn’t appear on the show business radar until age thirty-two. But from that moment in 1963, when the young smart-mouthed Brooklynite was beamed into millions of homes via the Jackie Gleason Show, people throughout the country knew that they were watching something special. His brash, irreverent, and undeniably hilarious views of what is happening around him have always been honest, unyielding, and colored by his “comedic anger.” And now, in How Dare You Say How Dare Me!, he shares the amazing, offbeat story of his life.
In his unique no-holds-barred style, Cooper begins his story at the beginning—as a child growing up under the strict hand of Italian immigrant parents. He shares memorable, typically comical moments from his youth, including the loss of his virginity to a middle-aged yenta, and his efforts to join the military at age seventeen—only to be kicked out for having hammerhead toes! A seventh-generation bricklayer by trade, Pat recounts performing his stand-up routine in small clubs and theaters at night—until he got his big break into the big time. From that point on, Pat pulls no punches in relating story after story of his life as a top entertainer, including the good, the bad, and the side-splitting! From Las Vegas to Atlantic City and everywhere in between, it’s all here.
Every bit as brash, irreverent, and hilarious as ever, Pat Cooper proves in this very frank memoir that one can succeed in show business without being phony—just as long as you learn to duck, and you’re not too surprised when you’re fired. (Hey, one door closes and another opens.) Like any time spent with this comic genius in person, How Dare You Say How Dare Me! will leave you roaring!
“An enjoyable read that deserves a special place on any entertainment biography bookshelf.”
“Without a doubt one of the funniest, most entertaining and elegantly crafted books I’ve ever read.”—Lionel (syndicated radio and TV host)
"A book chockfull of laughs and the reasons comics use sadness to create their routines. You don’t have to love—Dr. Wesley Britton, BookPleasures.com
"Pat Cooper’s sensitivity and insightfulness shine out from behind his ostensibly brash and offensive style in this memoir of six decades and more in show business. . . . Just as with the great Lenny Bruce, Pat Cooper’s presentation may initially strike one as acerbic and overly in your face, but Cooper has strength and vision that go far beyond his rapid-fire answers . . . His memoir reads a bit like a Who’s Who of Show Business since the mid-20th century: Tony Martin, George Burns, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Anthony Quinn and Robert De Niro being but some of those with whom he worked. The great Jerry Lewis, in his brief foreword to this raconteur’s dream of an autobiography, sums up Cooper’s talent in the following words: 'He has this fantastic capacity to challenge the art form [of comedy], and has done so with an exquisite approach to the human condition.' What makes this memoir stand out, though, is its raw honesty. Cooper never minces his words and sure ain’t no patsy, although, on occasion, his kindness and generosity have been taken advantage of. For those who aren’t shy of reading a gut-wrenching biography that pulls none of its punches, try How Dare You Say How Dare Me!. Believe me, you won’t be sorry."
— Editor's Choice - Jeff Simon, Buffalo News
"[Cooper's] account of life and show business is humorous, sad, and enlightening. Like many greats before him, he builds his routine around real life trials and tribulations but with an honesty that makes you laugh out loud because you know it's all too real to be fake. His stubbornness and pull-no-punches approach to life and his routine allows his talent to transcend decades . . . [Cooper] doesn't hold anything back good or bad . . . It's a refreshing turn on an autobiography . . . You get lost in the pages and feel like you're right there in the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, and even the '80s as he takes on the comedy world . . . this book is a great read. If you're looking for a story about determination and not letting what others tell you stand in your way, pick up this book." —ComposingCat.com
"[F]illed with great show business stories and anecdotes from the comedian's life and about the people he's worked with over the years from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald. . . . Dignity is important to Pat Cooper and that's what his comedy and passion are all about." —TheExaminer.com
Rich Herschlag is the author and coauthor of several books, including "Jack of All Trades", "The Interceptor", "Lay Low and Don't Make the Big Mistake", and "Women are from Manhattan, Men are from Brooklyn". He earned an engineering degree from Princeton University. - Steve Garrin is an audio-video editor and producer. He served as President of VideoActive Productions and is founder of the VoiceWorks(R)voiceover workshop.
Table of contents
Forewordby Jerry Lewis, xiii
1. The Battle of Brooklyn, 1
2. Powderhead, 15
3. Crawling with Aunts, 29
4. And Away We Go, 41
5. The Chosen Comics, 59
6. Opening for Legends and Opening My Mouth, 75
7. This Thing of Theirs—Part I, 97
8. This Thing of Theirs—Part II, 113
9. No Patsy, 127
10. Gourmet Sucks, 149
11. The Yankee Franchi, 163
12. Better Pissed Off than Pissed On, 177
13. Raging Bullshit, 189
14. Private Darts, 205
15. Deaf Comedy, 227
16. Break a Legacy, 241
Introduction or preface
For as many years as I can recall, a comic called a “comedian’s comedian” was nice, but didn’t always fit. This is certainly not the case with Pat Cooper, simply because he has this fantastic capacity to challenge the art form, and has done so with an exquisite approach to the human condition. I’ve seen Pat demolish pomposity and snobbery and take it to the level of excellence known as “down and dirty” comedy. He was and still is one of the funniest men working in our industry today. I’d love some of today’s younger comics to watch and learn from Pat Cooper—a true master of comedy. Go ahead—read his book and see if I’m right.
I’m quite proud of being a small part of this exciting time for Pat.