Pat Cooper: How Dare You Say How Dare Me!

Pat Cooper, with Rich Herschlag and Steve Garrin, foreword by Jerry Lewis, Square One (, $24.95 (262p) ISBN 9780757003639
Cooper begins his spirited memoir by discussing his early Italian family life in Brooklyn and his debut on the Fox Amateur Hour radio show, where his impressions won him first prize. He left school and worked as a brick layer and longshoreman before being drafted into the Army, and was the "man of the house" in his early 20s when his parents divorced and his father was mostly absent. Without much encouragement, Cooper never stopped performing, whether on the corner or at neighborhood events, and finally got his big break, at 32, on The Jackie Gleason Show. The Atlantic City and the Vegas of the Rat Pack era followed, with Cooper gaining notoriety as an "angry comic"; his routines were full of harsh wit that often cut close to home. Calling broadcasting the truth his version of therapy, Cooper cemented his status with regular appearances on The Howard Stern Show in the late ‘80s. But beneath the loud and relentless shtick was the darker side typical of many funny men, and he discusses strained relationships with his children, including a daughter who once called in to Stern's radio show to attack him. Still going strong at 81, Cooper believes " getting things out of my system", so the warts-and-all approach to his autobiography will come as no surprise to fans. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!