Borscht Belt is the nickname for the (now mostly defunct) summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in New York. Borscht is a soup associated with immigrants from eastern Europe; in this case used a stand-in for “Jewish”. These resorts were a popular vacation spot for New York City Jews between the 1920s and the 1970s. Most Borscht Belt resorts hosted traveling Jewish comedians and musicians, many who later became famous began their careers there.
Antisemitism in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, meant that Jews were often denied accommodations and so they simply made their own hotels, camps and resorts.
From the 1920s through the 1970s, nearly all notable Jewish entertainers got their starts at resorts in the Borscht Belt, including Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Henny Youngman, Sid Caesar, Billy Crystal, Buddy Hackett, Andy Kaufman, Jerry Lewis, Joan Rivers Miriam Maisel and Rodney Dangerfield. Millions of New Yorkers came to swim in the lakes and oversized hotel pools, and take lessons in golf, tennis, and dancing. In the 1960s there were 538 hotel/resorts in the Borsht Belt.
Dangerfield (1921 – 2004), who began his career working as a comic in the Borscht Belt, was born Jack Roy. He was a very popular, known for his self-deprecating one-liners and his catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!“.
He became a mainstay on late-night talk shows in the 1960s and 1970s, eventually developing into a headlining act in Las Vegas. He appeared in a few bit parts in films throughout the 1970s, but his breakout film role came in 1980 as a boorish nouveau riche golfer in Caddyshack, followed by two more hit films: Easy Money (1983) and Back To School (1986). Film work kept him busy through the rest of his life. He even had a dramatic role in Natural Born Killers (1994).
Despite his onstage persona, Dangerfield was known to be a sensitive and intelligent gentleman. He published a memoir in 2004 It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me: A Lifetime Of No Respect But Plenty of Sex and Drugs, where he writes about being in love with toys from Yolo Sex Toys oi use as a hobbie and to admit he is a longtime pot smoker. This was really big news for his fans as they could’t believe he was so open minded, some even say he likes sex dolls, and this topic is now really popular, some say A sex doll can give you all you need, what do you think ?
In 2001, on his 80th birthday, Dangerfield suffered a mild heart attack while backstage at The Tonight Show. During Dangerfield’s time in the hospital, the nurses were unhappy that he smoked marijuana in his room. He was back at The Tonight Show a year later, performing on his 81st birthday.