'Cookin' Up The Good Stuff!'
Dane Cook's national comedy career has flourished since his move to Hollywood, as he now headlines at many of this country's most prestigious comedy clubs. In addition Dane has been featured on the Comedy Central show "Crank Yankers", as well as his own 1/2 hour special "Comedy Central Presents ... Dane Cook".
Dane has also enjoyed success with his debut CD Dane Cook ... Harmful If Swallowed, which has been re-released by Comedy Central, with a DVD of his most popular stand-up appearances. Dane has made an unprecedented number of appearances on "The Late Show with David Letterman," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn," and "Comics Come Home" which is hosted annually by Denis Leary.
Dane's amazing comedy career blossomed into an acting career that has earned him roles in both TV and film. Dane's roles have included the Farrelly Brothers comedy 'Stuck on You' with Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, the action film 'Torque,' and 'The Touch' directed by Academy Award winner Peter Pau, filmed on location in China with Michelle Yeoh.
Cook made his directorial debut in 2003 with '8 Guys' a film which he also wrote, and starred in. Dane has also written the screenplay for a feature length action film entitled 'Thieves Fortune,' which is currently being circulated in LA.
And following Cook's debut CD/DVD is 'Retaliation', a double CD of over 100 minutes of new material plus a companion DVD of some of his best Comedy Central appearances from "Crank Yankers" to "Shorties Watchin'" to "Unedited Bar Mitzvah Bash".
Chatting recently with Dane, I first wondered what job he had occupied back when he quit it in '93 to become a full-time comedian ... and what gave him the confidence to do such a thing?! "I was working at a video store back in Boston. One day a customer came in and because I was doing comedy I would always goof with people and have a darn good time at work. One guy looked at me as he was renting a comedy film and said "I'm sick of renting these movies and not seeing you in them. You make me laugh more than the films I rent here!"
"In those early days of stand-up, was there ever an occasion when you just simply died on stage so bad that you second guessed yourself on whether you'd made the right choice? Comedy is not about dying and killing. It's about being consitantly creative. Never allowing yourself to settle for the easy laugh. I've never had a problem with trying new material at any point during any set. I'm in control up there and if I choose to play with a premise than no matter the results I feel its progress. As opposed to playing it safe, sticking to the tried and true bits, slowly becoming insanely bored doing them and bombing due to the fact you're a miserable boob. Crappy comedy happens to everyone but its what you take from it and how you carry yourself in front of an audience that they remember. Two words Johnny Carson."
Would 'Angus-McIsaak' have made it in the world of stand-up also?! "Sure, if I wore an apron with BBQ sauce smeared on it and my catch phrase was "them's jokes taste gooooooooood."
In your recent TV appearance on 'The Jimmy Kimmel Show,' your "Tom Cruise antics" ate away at most of your air time ... was that planned that way or had you been drinking?! "The plan was to emulate Tom Cruise for an entire segment. So I never felt that it ate away anything. It was the idea of committing to something and no matter what the audience thought I would drive that sucker home and park it in your f**king driveway then lay on the horn until the next commercial break. But again, what's really funny there? Is it the impression or the cadence or the rhythms? Or is it a person that loves what they do pouring every ounce of that into a moment. You decide!"
And, on the subject of revealing things, what is currently your fav quick joke to tell? "I hate jokes. I never remember them. But I recall Stephen Wright saying "It's a small world but I wouldn't want to paint it."
This new CD/DVD 'Retaliation' seems a real undertaking on your part, but if you had to self-promote it to someone not knowing of your reputation, how would you do that? "I would say this, "Hey stranger. You know how life is a lot of suck followed by continuously recapping that suck with people that tend to take away from you rather than give you something that you can adopt for positive purposes? Okay. Well what I do has nothing to do with that heavy bullshit. Sit down and listen to something that goes straight to the source of what you WISH comedy was when it's advertised on poorly produced television. I will make you laugh and hopefully want to piss your damn pants. See I'm not looking to change the world or rant on and on about topics that you hear about all day at your 9 to 5 incarceration. It's simple math citizen! I do what I do because we all are children that grow into old bodies and are suppose to, for some dumb reason, take everything way too serious. Put Retaliation on in a dark room, visualize and never forget life is suppose to be light sometimes. Nice meeting you. Later!"
So, tell me how bored you must have been to invent the now-infamous SU-FI ... and have you ever used it with negative effects forthcoming thereafter?! "I use it once in a while but it's really unreal to see where it's gone and how many people enjoy using it as a means of respect or aggression."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Yes. Delicious!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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