Legendary comedian Pat Cooper is retiring from the stage. The 84-year-old Brooklyn native was a guest on the Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM this morning, which is where he made the announcement.
On the show he explained that he felt he’s accomplished everything he set out to and that, very simply, he’s too old to continue anymore. He admitted that he’s been relying on cue cards to get through live shows. “If they write them any bigger the fucking audience won’t be able to see me!” he said, adding that it’s not just his eye sight that’s challenging his career. “Comedy is all about rhythm,” Cooper said. “If I’m noticing now my rhythm is not rhythm-y, it’s time to go. I got my dignity.” He later added: “It isn’t fun anymore. It’s not fun if I have to rely on things to help me on stage, like a crutch.”
Cooper explained that he actually stopped performing about four months ago. But this is the first time he’s gone public with his decision. Cooper (real name: Pasquale Caputo) also had something to say about fellow iconic performer Don Rickles, 87. “With all due respect to Don Rickles, he’s not all there anymore. Retire!” Cooper said. “And if he heard me say this he’d tell me ‘mind my business’ and he’d be right!”
A comedian for 60 years, Cooper said he’s happy hanging out with his grandkids post-career. A trip may also be in order. “I wanna go to Italy with a blind girl and tell her I’m Cary Grant,” he joked. Oh, and if anyone has plans to somehow commemorate his retirement, they should think twice about it. “If someone throws me [a party], I’m gonna tell `em, ‘Fuck you’ and go back into show business the next day.”
— reporting by Jorge Garrido
UPDATE: Listen to the audio below. Cooper’s announcement comes at about the 3:30 mark.