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October 7, 2015

Dane Cook steps forward

by Nick Zaino, posted May 18th 2009 7:32PM
Dane CookThis is the Dane Cook quandary. Around his second album, Retaliation, he became so popular that the inevitable backlash began. He was touring huge arenas. Retaliation was a three-disc package that should have been a two-disc package. Some people mentioned that, and the die-hard Dane fans, flashing Cook's Su-Fi sign, wouldn't tolerate it on his chat boards. Just about everyone weighed in, from magazines to fans to other comics. And it got to the point where you couldn't defend Cook without being an apologist, and you couldn't criticize him without being a "hater."

That's the environment that Cook is working in now, the water he had to tread thinking about his new special, last night's ISolated INcident. And there were already conflicting ideas surrounding the hype for the show. There were the constant commercials hyping how unbelievable the show is, setting an unfair standard from the very beginning. We were told this would be unlike anything we have seen from Cook, an innovative, groundbreaking special.

If we can step back from all of that for a moment, from the marketing and opinion-making of the past few years, what we have is a Dane Cook special where he's not yelling, he's not stomping around a stadium. He's talking about his parents' deaths, and how the backlash actually got to him. It's personal stuff, more than we've ever heard from him before.

There is a slightly different technical angle -- the special was shot with one camera in a continuous shot with some inset shots of audience members. But it still feels like a guy onstage in front of a live audience. And Cook hasn't abandoned his silly or scatological side, which is part of his comic DNA. But he is still stretching himself as a comedian here, and love him or hate him, he deserves credit for that. If you're a fan who stopped paying attention when the hype got a bit much, give ISolated INcident a shot.

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Dave Pearl

I lost my parents on 2001 and 2007..>Being an adult orphan, single, little family is hardest thing I have ever been through....

May 23 2009 at 8:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i love dane cook! get a preview of his new cd at http://bit.ly/H5hbF. it's funny as anything.

May 22 2009 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm irritated by this post. It wants to make me think about something. That's highly unusual for content on TV Squad these days.

Please make it stop. I want pre-chewed tiny bits of information that I can digest as if the information wasn't actually worth anything.

Oh wait, now I see it. It's about Dane Cook, the lightweight of Comedians... maybe it DOES fit...

May 19 2009 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dane Cook isn't a bad person.

Sure, he steals material, has an annoying stage presence and I hear he's gay (which is the worst thing you can say about a person). However, you have to give him credit for being an incredible self-promoter. He built his fan base from the ground up, and that takes a lot of work. Good for him.

Now, if you want good comedy instead, go find clips of Dylan Moran, Gervais, Bill Hicks, Pryor, Izzard, Steven Wright, or a dozen other hilarious people.

May 19 2009 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like the attraction of sitcoms with fat comics married to hot chicks, I guess Dane has his place. Backward hat wearing frat boys need a comedian too.

May 19 2009 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I started watching his special last night and turned it off when he told us we shouldn't joke around about rape and then goes a jokes around about.

May 18 2009 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Andrew's comment

Ugh, long day. Should say "and then goes and jokes around about rape."

May 18 2009 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy Bates

To be accurate, he said that people shouldn't use the term "raped" so casually, then he joked about how ludicrous it is to compare being raped to, say, being shot in Halo 3. No contradiction there.

May 20 2009 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dane Cook is the King of Douche Bags. He is not only an unoriginal comedy thief on the scale of Carlos Mencia, he is annoying and is thoroughly unfunny.

Dane Cook is proof of the growing movement towards stupidity in this country (and world) that Mike Judge told us was coming in his prophetic film, "Idiocracy."

You know who likes Dan Cook and finds him funny? The unintelligent. The stupid. And the down-right dumb.

May 18 2009 at 9:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
7 replies to BugKiller's comment
Doug Nelson

Are we sure it wasn't Louis CK's parents that died?

May 18 2009 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Doug Nelson's comment

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