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Take My Wives, Please

September 17, 2000|MARK EHRMAN

The occasion: The premiere of the polygamy comedy, "My 5 Wives," with after-party-cum-wedding-vow-renewal for star Rodney Dangerfield and wife Joan at Locanda del Lago on the Third Street Promenade.

Rimshot for the groom: "In the men's room I saw this guy," Mr. "I Can't Get No Respect" tells his best man, Fabio. "You're not the best man." Such mid-ceremony raunch doesn't offend the minister--Andrew Dice Clay--who offers: "It's important to keep the lovemaking like it was the first time." Retorts Rodney: "I cried making love with her the first time. She asked me for $100." Screening and reception flow into an uninterrupted you-set-'em-up, I-knock-'em-down yukstream. And with a room full of comedy club veterans, audience participation is high. "Joan, do you take Rodney . . . " "For everything he's got?" wonders Elayne Boosler, anticipating a better punch line than the one Diceman delivers. Asked if the exchange of vows left her teary-eyed, even the Mrs. unintentionally utters a well-timed zinger. "No, Rodney just makes me laugh," she replies. "He makes me collapse. I'm on the floor all the time." Beat. "Laughing, I mean."

Paying respect: "Do I have anything to do with this love connection?" asks Chuck Woolery, rhetorically. "No. I just showed up to give a little moral support." Adam Sandler, Dick Van Patten, Bill Maher and Connie Stevens are in the crowded bistro doing likewise. "I've known Rodney a long time," says Van Patten. "We went to high school together. We're both from Queens." (The comeback, "Really? I thought you had straight parents" sails right by him.) "Tonight Show" bandleader Kevin Eubanks recalls: "The first time I met Rodney, he said, 'Oh, you're the guy running things. You shouldn't run things. You should just run.' " Ba-da-bing! And what does Eubanks--holding up the bar alongside a young lovely--think of the movie's theme of multiple partners? "I wouldn't know," he answers. "I'm still working on getting one." Whoa, get outta here, you!

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

WHAT'S THE SCORE?

CELEB QUOTIENT: Not a washout; more like an average night at the Improv.

wow factor: A total scrimp in the way of music and decor (no band, no rice, just a quick dum-dum-ta-dum wedding march), but did you hear the one about . . .

CHOW LINE: Oysters on the half shell, roast sirloin, mini pizzas and linguine; it's so tempting, the greatest one-liner is the one trailing the buffet table.

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