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Editor's Choice

How Dare You Say How Dare Me! by Pat Cooper as told to Rich Herschlag and Steve Garrin, foreword by Jerry Lewis; Square One, 262 pages ($24.95). Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm by Roseanne Barr; Gallery Books, 284 pages ($26). Now that the legendary Bill Hicks and his offshoot Sam Kinison are long gone, the title of Angriest Standup Comics Alive would go, without question I think, to the venerable Pat Cooper (the only interview subject this writer ever encountered who growled while I asked him questions) and the ever-troublesome Roseanne Barr, now back to her original name after quite a few alternatives.

Here, for instance, is Roseanne Barr on the subject of not going to go into the subject of "cougars": "I'm going to be eating later. As much as I should be grateful for an appetite suppressant, I can't hack it in the form of a slutty-looking, liver-spotted granny with rodeo clown makeup, an Ace bandage bulge under the knee of her Spandex pants and cleavage that looks like it's been prepped for bypass surgery. And don't even get me started on the men -- crispy old geezers with their belts cinched under their nipples, steel-wool hairballs the size of baby squirrels growing out of their ears, and hairpieces from the irregulars bin at Toupees-R-Us, bragging about all the b---- they're doing again."

Here's good old Patsy Cooper, whom Jerry Lewis introduces as "one of the funniest men working in our industry today," on his emergence: "First, there was my name. They figured Pat Cooper was a stage name and my original name was Paul Cooperstein. Or Kappler. Or Keppler. Or Saul Rosenberg. When they finally learned that I changed my name from Pasquale Caputo, they still didn't believe it. They thought, sure, Italians are great singers. They're great plumbers, butchers and carpenters. But there are no Italians with a comedic flow like that The first Italian-American comic to go out there as an Italian-American," he claims, and if I were you, I wouldn't argue with him. He growls. Sarah Silverman, Rosie O'Donnell, Lisa Marie Presley, Bill Maher and Sandra Bernhard blurb Roseanne. To the skies. None of them is lying. These are tales from life the world needs.

-- Jeff Simon

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