Doctor Rodney Dangerfield Goes Back to School

Stellar Year for Iconic Comedian Includes Academic Institute Established in His Name, Honorary Doctorate, and Prestigious Digital Arts Honor


LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — It’s a stellar year for the late Rodney Dangerfield. On Saturday, May 17th, not only will New York’s Manhattanville College announce the establishment of “The Rodney Dangerfield Institute for the Study of Comedy,” but the iconic comedian will also be awarded an honorary doctorate posthumously, officially deeming him Dr. Dangerfield. And to round off the virtual juggernaut of events this year, the announcements come hot on the heels of his new website ( being honored last month by the prestigious Webby Awards, the internet’s highest honor.

As of Spring 2015, “The Dangerfield Institute” will offer a Minor in the field of comedy to students. The first seminar, “Laughter and Respect,” featuring Rodney’s work, will be offered in the Fall of 2014.

Institutes named after individuals in the entertainment industry are unheard of. And of the very few that are named after prominent figures at all, practically none offer degrees. Historically, two notable exceptions, aside from Dangerfield, are Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison.

Manhattanville College was founded in 1841 and was originally an all-girls school, which Joan Dangerfield, Rodney’s widow, feels would have certainly delighted her late husband. The college changed its status to “co-ed” in the late 1960s.

Earlier this year, Joan visited the campus and met with professors, the provost and president, and board members. She took painstaking efforts in choosing the fully accredited, liberal arts school – researching its history and ensuring its spirit would be a fit for her late husband, who was born in nearby Deer Park, New York. “I have always felt that Rodney’s Act, honed to perfection over 40 years, is a masterpiece of philosophy worthy of being studied in colleges like Plato’s Socratic Dialogues,” said Joan. “The esteemed faculty at Manhattanville, a highly-ranked liberal arts school founded in 1841 and located near Rodney’s birthplace, is very enthusiastic about Rodney’s impact on the culture and having their students consider such things as the relationship between the laughter/respect dichotomy that Rodney illuminated and the College’s own mission and values concerning ethical leadership and global citizenship.” Joan will be accepting the award on Rodney’s behalf, and has been named Honorary Chair of the Dangerfield Institute.

The Dangerfield Institute plans to offer special scholarships, as well as the development of a “Dangerfield Archive” to catalog and study Rodney’s body of comedic work.

October 2014 will mark the 10th anniversary of the legend’s passing.

About Rodney Dangerfield
Grammy award-winning comedy legend, Rodney Dangerfield, known for his iconic “I don’t get no respect” line, appeared in 22 films, 20 lite beer commercials, and on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” a record 70 times. His signature getup (black suit and red tie) is part of a permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., and he is known for having giving many renowned comedians their early breaks, including Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr, Jerry Seinfeld, Louie Anderson, Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Kinison. For more information on Rodney, please visit:

About Joan Dangerfield
Joan Dangerfield is President and CEO of Xis International, a privately held consultancy firm dedicated to creating synergistic relationships for international joint ventures, currently providing research, strategic planning, and investment promotion services for the Chinese government. She is also chairman of a new company with disruptive 3D technology with various patents pending in the auto-stereoscopic (3D without glasses) space; co-founder of The Opus 73 Group; CEO of Dangerfield Entertainment and president of Paper Clip Productions. Her most cherished endeavors are related to her late comedy-icon husband. After his passing, Joan produced a 2-hour documentary about Rodney’s life for A&E. She is currently in the process of developing a feature film based on her late husband’s bestselling autobiography It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me. For more information on Joan, please visit:

About Manhattanville College
Manhattanville College is a not-for-profit, fully accredited, private liberal arts college chartered by the State of New York, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is located in Purchase, New York, but was founded in 1841 at 412 Houston Street in Manhattan. It was known initially as Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. Manhattanville’s mission is to “educate students to become ethically and socially responsible leaders for the global community”. The school moved to its current location in Purchase, N.Y. in 1952. For more information on Manhattanville College, please visit:

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