Pat Cooper--How Dare You Say How Dare Me!: An Autobiography of a Life in Comedy

Pat Cooper--How Dare You Say How Dare Me!: An Autobiography of a Life in Comedy

2.8 7
by Rich Herschlag
     
 

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Few comics today can say they have worked with the likes of George Burns, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett--but Pat Cooper can. Brash, irreverent, and undeniably hilarious, his views have always been honest, unyielding, and colored by his "comedic anger," In this very frank memoir, Pat relates story after story of his life as a top entertainer, including the good, the

Overview

Few comics today can say they have worked with the likes of George Burns, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett--but Pat Cooper can. Brash, irreverent, and undeniably hilarious, his views have always been honest, unyielding, and colored by his "comedic anger," In this very frank memoir, Pat relates story after story of his life as a top entertainer, including the good, the bad, and the side-splitting! Like his sold-out live shows, How Dare You Say How Dare Me! will leave you roaring.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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 "...in getting things out of my system", so the warts-and-all approach to his autobiography will come as no surprise to fans. (Nov.)
Lionel (syndicated radio and TV host)

“Without a doubt one of the funniest, most entertaining and elegantly crafted books I’ve ever read.”

BookPleasures.com Dr. Wesley Britton

"A book chockfull of laughs and the reasons comics use sadness to create their routines. You don’t have to love—or hate—or even know who Pat Cooper is to enjoy this insightful look into popular entertainment. Readers interested in comics of the old-school, nightclub shows, performing on both small and large stages, films like Analyze This, will find this one a page-turner. If you have aspirations of being a performer yourself, here’s an essential textbook. And if you still don’t know who Pat Cooper is—here’s your ticket."

Buffalo News Editor's Choice - Jeff Simon

"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." --Lois Henderson, BookPleasures.com
ComposingCat.com

"[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."

TheExaminer.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."

Library Journal
This octogenarian rogue comedian (born Pasquale Caputo) shoots from the hip in a candid autobiography and shares his lifetime of ups and downs in the comedy business. From his early days in Brooklyn to his comedic development in the Catskills to becoming a major audience draw in Las Vegas, his no-holds-barred honesty has been his signature as a popular performer. Proud of his Italian heritage, the foundation of much of his stand-up routine since day one, Cooper isn't shy about letting anyone know just how difficult it was growing up with less than supportive parents and siblings. He has endured a plethora of fiascos, both personally and professionally, and he isn't afraid to share them with readers as lessons learned. He also here gives his opinions of numerous celebrities; those he admired and those he learned to loathe. Cooper fought for one important issue his entire life, that popular entertainers should always treat their opening acts (comedians in particular) with respect and dignity. VERDICT An enjoyable read that deserves a special place on any entertainment biography bookshelf.—Richard A. Dickey, Washington, DC

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780757003639
Publisher:
Square One Publishers
Publication date:
11/01/2010
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
384,576
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Pat Cooper--How Dare You Say How Dare Me!: An Autobiography of a Life in Comedy 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From knowing Mr. Cooper personally, I would have to say that Mr. Cooper's book is purely fiction and lacks authenticity with respect to his references to his earlier family life. Throughout his entire book Mr. Cooper consistently provides evidence to the informed reader that he doesn't even remember what the truth is anymore since he has spent his whole life denying that part of his life to himself, his family, his audience and sadly to both his biological children and adopted child. How Dare You Say How Dare Me is nothing more than an extension of Mr. Cooper's comedic act. It is a story that ironically reveals the sad and lonely life of a man who has spent his life trying to make others laugh while he himself pathetically still cries inside about all the distorted injustices that he believes he has been made to endure. The book does, however, a wonderful job of reaffirming the author's delusional view of many of his life's relationships. Its underlying theme makes informed readers aware of the protagonist's cowardice to accept accountability on any level for any of his actions or failed relationships. It is one thing for Mr. Cooper to do this as part of an act to make people laugh but to write a book which blatantly describes inaccuracies about one's natural family which HE freely chose to desert is a pretty sad commentary on Mr. Cooper as an author, a human being and most of all as a father. It completely invalidates any other value this book may have wished to achieve.
PAT_COOPERS_SON More than 1 year ago
Dear Pat Cooper, .....Congratulations on your book which was published 14 months AFTER MY BOOK and as a response to my book, "DEAR PAT COOPER." .....Thanks for mentioning me a couple of times, too. Now I know we really are related even though you had a few inaccuracies and loveless things to say about OUR Family. .....Overall the book is quite comical and I expected that. I particularly enjoyed the "back stories" and interactions you had with various legends in your business. They were awesome! What you said about some of them wasn't. .....When I was done reading your story I kinda felt sorry for you. Sorry because a memoir is supposed to be a cathartic experience. There is nothing in your book that even suggests that you've worked through your 'ANGER' and 'SOUR GRAPES' that you still have with OUR family and half the people in show business. .....With all that being said, the part that really saddened me the most was the fact that the closest you'll ever get to me is right here in the literary world with my book, "Dear Pat Cooper." .....God Bless, .....your son, Michael Caputo, aka Pat Cooper's Son
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is with mixed emotions that this review is posted. It is posted not from a need to prove or defend the truth but rather as an obligation to heighten the awareness of those readers who may innocently be unaware. For many years Pat Cooper has used his family as a source of material for his act. It publically became acceptable for him in this context to embellish the truth as a source of entertainment for his audience. However, when one decides to write a memoir it is supposed to be an accurate account of life experiences. It is necessary that readers be made aware that throughout the book the author presents many misconceptions with respect to his earlier family relationships and experiences. As one who lived through many of the experiences, I would have to say that Pat Cooper's book, How Dare You Say How Dare Me, presents its readers with a perspective that is very much from the truth. Somehow in his memoir, Pat Cooper has chosen to eliminate some very significant events that should have been recounted in order for the reader to see what truly makes him "tick." The authors' use of sensationalism throughout the book is used as a tool to entice the reader's interest and curiosity. Perhaps the authors would like to add the following reflection as an epilogue to insure the memoir is presented with more accuracy. It was truly an unfortunate experience that both my brother Michael and I lived through. The impact of the experience has affected each of our lives in different ways. Sometimes the true reason as to why things happen is clouded by what we imagine they could have been. Through the years, and by being a mother, I have come to the realization that it would be impossible for anyone to even begin to try to rationalize the cowardice actions of any man, under any circumstances, who could turn away from his biological children and then in turn adopt another. I have rather learned that it was necessary to alter my expectations in order to truly accept and understand the emotional limitations and hypocritical actions of this man. In the words of Martin Luther King; "the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Through the years, this man has consistently demonstrated that for whatever reason, he was only capable of achieving the emotional ability to stand as a dark shadow in our lives. I am sadly comforted in a sense to have come to accept that to have had a father who was filled with such anger and negative energy in my life would have probably been more toxic. It is ironic that through it all the one thing that we both learned from an absent father and a very present and loving mother and grandmother was the true blessings of a family. It is really a shame for him that he was not only unwilling to share in all our wonderful memories and accomplishments, but also missed out on all the genuine love that truly bonds OUR FAMILY together. These are things WE will always have, as they are TRUTHS within our heart. There is NOTHING that can take them away... not even the DECEPTIVE WORDS IN HIS INCOMPLETE, INACCURATE and SAD MEMOIR. A person can only hide behind an image for so long. Eventually, in time, the truth somehow always manages to shine through. My brother Michael's book, Dear Pat Cooper, is the ONLY one that has helped to make that happen. I know... I was there, too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
..... Being that Pat Cooper is my Uncle, and I'm Gracie's (Pat's oldest sister) daughter, I felt the need to read his book, and post an honest review. I had been in touch with him for a good part of my adult life, went to see him whenever he was playing in my area, in spite of him not speaking to my mother (and I may add, she never did anything to deserve it, in fact she tried many times to talk sense into him). ..... Now let me digress. The last time I heard from him, was about 7 yrs ago. The reason he called me was that he wanted some copies of family photos for a book he was writing about his life and our family. He also said he was going to blast the family in it. He also told me that he would cut the faces of the family members out of the photos and use them in his book. In his recently published book there is a photo of him as a toddler with my mother and SHE has been cut out. I was so shocked when he revealed what he was going to do with the pictures if I had decided to give them to him. I could not betray my family so I declined. If he had called and requested them with a pure motive perhaps for his own personal use, I would have given them to him. After that, I never heard from him again. .....So, I started reading his book a few weeks ago. From the first page I was appalled as the family I know and knew were not the same people depicted in his book. I can only speak about the parts about our wonderful family and the situations he describes may have happened, but some of the details are false and negatively embellished upon. I recall some of these "stories" from my mother Gracie who was his closest sister to him growing up. After reading the first couple of chapters, I had to consult with her about it and she confirmed what I already knew. The story about the Amateur Hour happened, but my Grandmother asked him to go with my mother to protect her, and he did end up singing and won. But his version says my Grandparents were there and were very angry he won and that is simply NOT true. He seems to have had a persecution complex and that he was always picked on by his parents. He in fact was known by his family as a lier and a story teller, and was always doing something for attention. My mother was always standing up for him because he was always getting beat up. ..... He portrays His Father, my Grandfather, as a foul mouthed man, but he was a very mild mannered man, quiet and reserved but loving and kind. My Grandmother was very outspoken ( the apple doesn't fall too far...) and had no problem speaking her mind, but had very little tolerance for injustice. She adored her family, was loyal, loving and very generous to a fault. Apparently he seems to be the only one who experienced negative things with OUR family, and no one else did. It has to make you think, doesn't it?? The anger and jealousy that he seems to have with other colleagues is exactly the same as he expresses toward his family. I think it speaks volumes, and shows why he wrote this book. As no family is perfect, I can speak from many years of being in our family that the family he speaks of in his book is just another FICTITIOUS STORY just like the family he portrayed on stage. That family didn't exsist, and neither did the family in his book. ..... I'm sorry Uncle Pat that you didn't want to experience all that we did, and you missed out on a lot, including a relationship with your sister Grace who has recently tried to contact you. It has
DF1746 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I could not put it down. Pat cooper is so funny that I found myself laughing out loud. They do not make comedians like him anymore which I find very sad. I did not know about his life and that made me feel really bad for this guy who seems like a genuine good man.  i do feel sad about his family life and what he had to go through to make a career for himself. I know his children feel differently but there are two sides to every story. Well pat Cooper I really enjoyed reading your story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lionel Commentary after reading ADVANCE READER Copy of the book The Pat Cooper book is without a doubt one of the funniest, most entertaining and elegantly crafted books I've ever read. Lionel - Syndicated Radio/TV Personality
ProReviewing More than 1 year ago
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. As he says, "When I'm standing in front of a microphone, I may seem angry, but I'm not in a hate mode. I'm angry because of the sadness. There's so much of it, and most of it is what we do to each other. When I'm ranting and raving up there, I'm releasing sadness. I'm saying that if we talk about it-or yell about it-maybe we can turn that sadness into laughter." 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 and his smart aleck "Don't try to put me down, 'cos I'll put you down first." His snappy rejoinders are legendary, and, yes, he doesn't hide the uglier side of either family life or show business. That he has deep feelings, and that he has often been hurt, most notably by the ingratitude of those who should have known better, including members of his own family, is clear. But he's no whiner, and fights back to his last monosyllable. Guts? Cooper has plenty of them, and they sometimes do spill. But he's also a survivor, and I admire him greatly. In How Dare You Say How Dare Me!, Cooper shares both the ups and downs of being an Italian comedian in a profession in which he was often thought to be Jewish. Having to mask his identity with a name change from Pasquale Caputo was one of the least of his problems. Surviving life surrounded by the Mafiosi seems sometimes to have been a greater challenge, not that many such were not close to him-the family connections come with the territory! 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.