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Rodney Dangerfield Finally Gets Some Respect with New Kew Gardens Mural

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 4, 2016 10:39am
 Italian artist Francesca Tosca Robicci works on a mural depicting late stand-up comedian and actor Rodney Dangerfield in Kew Gardens.
Italian artist Francesca Tosca Robicci works on a mural depicting late stand-up comedian and actor Rodney Dangerfield in Kew Gardens.
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Courtesy of Francesca Tosca Robicci

QUEENS — Rodney Dangerfield is getting some respect after all. 

The late stand-up comedian and actor, whose signature catchphrase was “I don't get no respect,” is being honored with a mural in his childhood neighborhood of Kew Gardens.

Italian artist Francesca Tosca Robicci began working on the piece in Kew Gardens Cinemas Park, on the corner of Lefferts Boulevard and Austin Street, on Sunday.

The mural, which will be completed later this week, depicts the funny man, who grew up above what is now Austin's Ale House, went to P.S. 99 and then Richmond Hill High School, and worked at a candy store on Lefferts Boulevard, according to Noah Sheroff, the founder of 501(See)(Streets), a Queens-based nonprofit which seeks to revitalize and beautify New York City neighborhoods with murals.

Sheroff approached the owner of Kew Gardens Cinemas about painting the Dangerfield mural in the park behind the movie theater who supported the project, Shernoff said.

The owner of the theater did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

In June, 501(See)(Streets) painted two murals on the wall under the 71st Avenue Long Island Rail Road overpass, near Station Square in Forest Hills. One of them pays tribute to The Ramones, and the other honors tennis legends who once played at the nearby Forest Hills Stadium.

“Based on the popularity of our murals on 71st Avenue, I wanted to organize more projects in the Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Rego Park area,” Sheroff said in an email.

 

Yep! #rodneydangerfield #kewgardens #streetart #murals #literarypaintings @literarypaintings @501seestreets @ny1

A photo posted by Francesca Tosca Robicci (@francescatoscarobicci) on

Sheroff also noted that he was looking at celebrities from each neighborhood and discovered Dangerfield’s connection to Kew Gardens.

The comedian was born in Deer Park, Long Island, but in the early 1930s moved to Kew Gardens when he was 10 after his father abandoned him, his mother and sister, according to A Picture History of Kew Gardens, a website about the neighborhood.

Local residents welcomed the project.

“It’s art,” said Grace Anker, the owner of The Potter's Wheel, a local pottery studio, and member of Karing for Kew Gardens, a group working to improve the area. “And we love to bring art to the neighborhood.”