Sunday, February 03, 2008

5 Reasons to Hate Dane Cook

I have been a big Dane Cook fan since high school when my group of friends heard about him. One of my friends actually got to see him live a few years ago, which the rest of us were jealous about, and still are since Dane Cook is big time now. For those of you that know Brett know, or should know, that he's also a big Dane Cook fan, and we occasionally exchange text messages of quotes and bits of his stand-ups. Point being, I like Dane Cook's comedy.

A lot of people don't like him though. His movies all suck, and those who get their first impression that way are forever scarred. Some don't like him because he's loud and cocky, or for whatever reason, but that's not important. This post is about a list I found online the other day of 5 reasons to not like Dane Cook. The list is pretty shitty, and I think it was written to get hits rather than actually mean anything, but I read it and very much disagreed with it, being a Cook fan.

For those that like Dane Cook, this list will piss you off. For those that don't, you'll probably like it, bastards. Either way though, here are 5 reasons to hate Dane Cook with only the YouTube examples that were actually relevant.

5. He (probably) steals jokes
This is a huge internet debate. And there is reason to believe this claim because the evidence is somewhat compelling. Stealing jokes is the worst crime in comedy. You just don't do it. If you're caught it's like wearing the scarlet letter around your neck. I've seen comedians kicked out of clubs because of that. Some of his material is really close to Louis C.K. who is a comedian from the same city as Cook. In my opinion I think they are too close to call, but I have seen comics touch on similar topics with almost the same accuracy in terms on content. I mentioned this fact to a Superfan and was told in response "That he did [Louis C.K's] material better anyway". If that's how people are going to look at things then go ahead. Even if he didn't steal his jokes verbatim the material is uninspired.

4. Lack of respect for other comedians
Its hard to be a comedian when other comedians hate you. And I don't mean because you're famous and open mic comedians rag on you. I'm talking about professional comics. Robert Klein, Jim Breuer, and David Cross have all openly talked about their hatred for Mr. Cook. Why? Mostly it's because of the material, but it has to do partially with Cook himself. In a comedy club in Rhode Island Cook did a surprise set before a headliner and ran past his time bleeding into the other performers act. That's a lack of professional courtesy. It doesn't matter how famous you are you NEVER do that. If you look at people from "The Comedians of Comedy" it is all a social network where people respect other peoples material. No matter how many fans you fill in a stadium, it must be hard to go home and have people you respect not respect you. I kind of feel bad for Dane, but there has to be a reason why his peers won't respect him.

3. Dane Cook "Superfans"
I do not hate every Dane Cook fan. Let me just point that out. I have friends who love Dane Cook and listen to him on a regular basis. But for some reason when I tell Superfans "I don't like him", I get my ear chewed off. The level of fan devotion is almost as bad as thirteen-year-old BackStreet Boys fans saying they don't like N'SYNC. When I do come across a Superfan and I talk about Dane Cook they love to pick a fight about why I don't like him.

Me: I just don't think he's that funny.

Fan: Whatever man he's hilarious.

Me: I don't think he is hilarious at all. He's just loud to me sometimes.

Fan: You don't like him because he is famous.

Me: No I DON'T! I just like other comedians better. Their material is stronger.

Fan: Psh. Fuck you. (Fan sticks up super finger)

Fuck me for having an opinion and listening to other comics. Geez.

2. No punchlines
Set them up, Knock them down. Set them up knock it down. That's the basic formula of a joke. Setup, and then a punchline. But watch Dane Cook's stand up material and you will see something bizarre. There are hardly any punchlines. Where there should be a joke, there is a noise, or a funny face. Where is the joke? There is no joke. Dane Cook is the master of manipulation. He would of made a great cheerleader in high school. In terms of energy I have never seen anyone control a crowd so effectively. But in terms of telling a joke he falls flat. If you drank a shot of liquor for every punchline uttered from Dane Cook, it would take you three comedy specials to get drunk. Believe me, I tried.

1. No relevance or longevity
Two comedians before Cook have achieved his level of success. Steve Martin and Richard Pryor have both played to thousands of people but their material pushed boundaries in comedy. Pryor engaged both white and black audiences discussing race relations and his own troubled personal life. Martin created a stage character that was wild and wacky but was also inventive and personable. And after realizing the price of fame can be a disaster, Martin wrote and starred in a catalog of films that are now classics. Cook? Well, that's the thing. In terms of being a comic the only thing to learn from him is that you can create a franchise and sell t-shirts. Fifty years from now Pryor's material will still be valuable by touching on universal themes, while jokes about Burger King may not. Only time can tell.

So there's your list. You agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. Personally, I think this list sucks and is a grouping of terribly weak accusations and poor reasoning. But it makes for good conversation, so let's hear it.



Ryan Maley said...

I don't like Dane Cook, but I do agree that this list is really weak. The excuses are really stupid ones, the only one that could be compelling is the stealing jokes one; and I think they were close but I do not think he stole them. Carlos Mencia is joke stealer. I hate him even more. Any ways, overall I don't like Dane, but these are not even close to the reasons why I don't. And the reasons given suck.

Kevin said...

Not saying this is why you don't like him, but I've noticed that it is becoming very trendy to not like Dane Cook. I don't get it.

Eric said...

dane cook is pretty good. that list is a pathetic wanna-be rant of bullshit that doesnt make sense. whoever wrote it is an idot.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you've attracted a few superfans here. "I don't get it." - then you never will. C.K. Louis said it best: "Fuck Dane Cook, he's a cunt" And an unfunny cunt at that.