Dane Jeffrey Cook (born March 18, 1972) is an American stand-up comedian and film actor. He has released five comedy albums: Harmful If Swallowed; Retaliation; Vicious Circle; Rough Around The Edges: Live From Madison Square Garden; and Isolated Incident. In 2006, Retaliation became the highest charting comedy album in 28 years and went platinum. He performed an HBO special in the Fall of 2006, Vicious Circle, a straight-to-DVD special titled Rough Around The Edges (which is included in the album of the same name), and a Comedy Central special in 2009 titled Isolated Incident. He is known for his use of observational, often vulgar, and sometimes dark comedy.
He is credited as one of the first comedians to use a personal webpage and MySpace to build a large fan base and in 2006 was described as "alarmingly popular". As an actor, Cook has appeared in films since 1997, including Mystery Men, Waiting..., Employee of the Month, Good Luck Chuck, Dan in Real Life, Mr. Brooks, and My Best Friend's Girl. He also provided the lead voice role in the 2013 family film Planes, and its 2014 sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue.
Cook was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the second son of Donna Jean (nÃ©e Ford) (died 2006) and George F. Cook (died 2007). Cook has an older half-brother, Darryl, and five sisters. He grew up in a Roman Catholic family, and has Irish ancestry. Cook was raised in Arlington, Massachusetts, where he attended Arlington High School.
Cook has described himself as being "pretty quiet, pretty introverted, shy" as a child, although he was a "wild child" at home. He overcame his shyness in his junior year of high school when he began acting and doing stand-up comedy. After graduating from high school, he studied graphic design in college as a back-up plan in case he did not achieve success in comedy. He now designs all of his merchandise, including the cover of his album Harmful If Swallowed. Cook has stated that he does not drink nor do drugs.
Cook's half-brother Darryl was Cook's business manager until 2008, when it was discovered that Darryl and his wife had embezzled millions of dollars from Dane Cook. Both Darryl and his wife have been sentenced to prison for the embezzlement.
In 1994, Cook moved to New York City and began performing. Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles, where he still lives today. His big break came in 1998 when he appeared on Comedy Central's Premium Blend. In 2000, Cook did a half-hour special on Comedy Central Presents. Since then his special has won the Comedy Central Stand-up showdown twice in a row.
In 2003, Cook released his first CD/DVD, Harmful If Swallowed. He signed a contract with Comedy Central Records. The album is certified platinum. He released his second CD/DVD in 2005, entitled Retaliation. This album went double platinum and made Cook the first comic in 29 years to have an album at #4 on the Billboard charts. He performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, and then afterwards he joined Snoop Dogg in presenting the award for Best New Artist.
On April 15, 2005, Cook performed his first HBO Special entitled Vicious Circle. Vicious Circle was filmed "in the round" at the TD Garden. The same year, Cook shot two pilot episodes for his own sitcom, Cooked. The sitcom never got picked up and the two pilot episodes were later released on DVD as the Lost Pilot Episodes. That same year, he embarked on a 30-day 20-show college tour called Tourgasm with his long time friends Robert Kelly, Gary Gulman, and Jay Davis. The tour was filmed and was later made into a 9-episode documentary on HBO.
On December 3, 2005, Cook hosted Saturday Night Live. He would then go on to host the premiere of season 32 of SNL a year later.
In 2006, Cook headlined for Dave Attell's Insomniac Tour and hosted the 2006 Teen Choice Awards alongside Jessica Simpson. The following year he won the award for Best Comedian. On November 12, 2007, Cook became the second comic to sell out Madison Square Garden. He did two sold out shows in one night. The show was filmed and would later be put onto a DVD to be sold on Cook's third comedy album. Cook won the Big Entertainer Award at the VH1 Big in '06 Awards, and Rolling Stone magazine's Hot Comic of the Year. The following day, November 13, 2007, he released his third CD/DVD entitled Rough Around The Edges, which was filmed live at Madison Square Garden in New York City. During that time, he embarked on his first arena tour.
On April 10, 2007, Cook broke The Laugh Factory's endurance record (previously held by Richard Pryor) by performing on stage for 3 hours and 50 minutes. Dave Chappelle would break the record five days later. On January 1, 2008, Cook later broke Chapelle's record, by performing on stage for 7 hours.
From May 23, 2008 to May 25, 2008, Cook reunited with Robert Kelly and Al Del Bene for three shows at The Coliseum in Caesars Palace. From May 29-June 4, 2008 the trio went to Iraq to perform for the troops. Del Bene was the Emcee, Kelly was the Feature, and Cook was the Headliner.
He finished his fourth album, Isolated Incident; a performance which aired on Comedy Central on May 17, 2009, with the release of the record following two days later. He kicked off that tour at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, on April 25, 2009. This album will be the last as part of Cook's four record deal with Comedy Central Records. The new album was performed at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood, which is considered to be Cook's home base, where he goes and works on new material. He released the DVD version of Isolated Incident in November 2009.
Cook's style is principally "long-form storytelling" and "multipurpose phrases". Cook says his onstage persona is a combination of the personalities of his mom, Donna, and his dad, George. "My mother is like a Looney Tunes cartoon. She's wiggly ... She has the ability to tongue in cheek a lot, and do it in a way where she's being physical. My dad is the polar opposite. He always had a little 'what the fuck' in his voice. Even if he knew nothing about what he was talking about, he could sell it. So I looked at these two extremely funny people and created a style of comedy from absorbing their actions."
I wanted to create a stage persona for myself that allowed me to really speak about anything I want... So I can be a storyteller, I can be jokey, I can be corny, I can be a little vulgar, I can be a lot vulgar. And I'm not afraid to go anywhere to get the point of the joke across, even if I have to just blabber like a retard until it becomes apparent that I'm a retard and that the audience should laugh.
Commentators in a variety of media sources have characterized Dane Cook's humor as unfunny. Comedian Ron White has criticized Dane Cook for his lack of real material and for his inflated ego; saying "[He] does not make me laugh, at all, in any way, shape or form." When asked about his opinion of Cook on The Howard Stern Show, comedian Nick DiPaolo said "he doesn't make me laugh, but that doesn't mean he's not funny." On Boston radio station WBCN, Dane Cook was named by radio show Toucher and Rich to a tournament of the top 16 "Worst Comedians" and, based on listener voting, was voted the "Worst Comedian" of all. In the Michigan Daily, Elie Zwiebel and co-author Jesse Bean wrote that "he's managed to become one of the most overrated comics ever" and that his act is "boringly stagnant".
Jim Breuer talked about Cook's reputation within the comedy industry, saying: "Everyone kills this guy ... Not one comedian comes on [my Sirius radio show] and says 'I'm so happy for him', which is weird. ... They can't stand this poor guy." Breuer went on to say that he personally thinks Cook is a "tremendous performer".
Accusations of plagiarism
Comedian Joe Rogan has claimed that Cook performed a bit on an episode of Premium Blend that Rogan had developed on I'm Gonna Be Dead Someday (sketch titled "Tigers Fucking"), and claimed to have performed the routine earlier in clubs with Cook present. Other comedians have also accused Cook of stealing their material. A 2007 article in Radar magazine about joke theft included Rogan's allegations, as well as the allegations of an anonymous "veteran comic" who accused Cook of appropriating one of that comic's "very physical routines," despite a direct request by the comedian that Cook stop using the routine in question. The piece also noted widespread Internet discussion of the similarity between the bits "Struck by a Vehicle," "Itchy Asshole," and "My Son Optimus Prime," from Cook's 2005 album Retaliation, and the bits "Guy on a Bike," "Itchy Asshole," and "Kid's Names," from comic Louis C.K.'s 2001 album Live in Houston. In 2011, Cook played himself in an episode of Louie, scripted by C.K., centering on a fictional encounter between the two comics during which they discuss the controversy.
Cook began with small film roles in the late 1990s, including Mystery Men as "The Waffler," and opposite Dennis Rodman in 1999's Simon Sez.
In 2006, Cook starred in his first leading role as the slacker box boy Zack Bradley in Employee of the Month, which co-starred Jessica Simpson and Dax Shepard. Poorly received by critics, the film made a modest $30 million against a $12 million budget. In June 2007, Cook co-starred in his first dramatic role as the devious photographer "Mr. Smith" in Mr. Brooks, which starred Kevin Costner. The film debuted at #4 at the box office. The film grossed $10,017,067 in the opening weekend.
In September 2007, Cook starred as dentist Charlie Logan in Good Luck Chuck, which co-starred Jessica Alba and Dan Fogler. The film was the second-highest grossing film (#1 Comedy) at the U.S. box office in its opening weekend, grossing $13.6 million in 2,612 theaters. The film went on to have a total box office tally of approximately $35 million U.S. and $24 million foreign. It was received very poorly by critics. A month later, Cook co-starred as Mitch Burns in Dan In Real Life, which starred Steve Carell. The film grossed $11.8 million in 1,921 theaters its opening weekend, ranking #2 at the box office. As of July 6, 2008, it has grossed $62,745,217. It received moderate to good reviews from critics.
In 2008, Cook starred as air purifier call-center supervisor Tank Turner in My Best Friend's Girl with Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, and Alec Baldwin. The film grossed $8.2 million in its opening weekend, debuting at #3 at the box office, but received poor reviews from critics. In 2010, Cook auditioned for the role of Captain America for Captain America: The First Avenger, although the director, Joe Johnston, did not have him on the short list for the part.
In 2013, Cook voiced the character of Dusty Crophopper in the animated film, Planes, a spin-off of Pixar's Cars franchise. He reprised his role as Dusty in the 2014 sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue.
In 2015, Cook will star in the film 400 Days with Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, and Ben Feldman. The film is directed by Matt Osterman and is executive produced by Cook himself.
On November 18, 2010, it was announced that both Cook and Josh Hamilton will be starring in Neil LaBute's 2011 Broadway production of Fat Pig. Production was scheduled to begin in March 2011. However, before the show began it was postponed for financial reasons, with intent to reschedule it for the 2011-12 season instead.
In October 2005, during an interview with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, actress Charlize Theron leaned forward and allowed Cook to kiss her backside.
In May 2012, it was announced that Cook would be starring in the new NBC comedy Next Caller. On October 12, 2012 the show was canceled prior to its airing despite having already filmed four out of six episodes.
- Tourgasm 2006 (w/ Robert Kelly, Gary Gulman, Jay Davis)
- Rough Around The Edges Tour 2007
- Globo Thermo Tour 2009 (w/ Robert Kelly and Al Del Bene) â" In a Shave Magazine review of the Globo Thermo tour, Jake Tomlinson expressed that "his live performance quite enjoyable", and gave the concert 4 out of 5 stars.
- 2006: Dane Cook's Tourgasm (3DVD)
- 2007: The Lost Pilots (DVD) Sony Pictures Television.
- (2006) "I'll Never Be You" â" #100 (U.S. Pop), #4 (Germany)
- (2007) "Forward"
- (2010) "Drunk Girl/Red Car"
Cook co-wrote and performed the song "Ruthie Pigface Draper" for the Dan In Real Life film with Norbert Leo Butz.
Cook provided guest vocals on the 2011 song In the Future by Steel Panther from their third studio album Balls Out.
- Official website
- Dane Cook at the Internet Movie Database