Dane Cook is a stand-up comedian, known for his energy and wild physical stage presence.
Born in 1972 and raised in Boston with his brother and five sisters, he started out doing sketch comedy before moving on to various bit parts in television and film while honing his stand-up act in Massachusetts and New York City. His Comedy Central Presents special brought him to the big-time, however, and in subsequent years his episode won various CC Presents fan competitions, up with Stephen Lynch and Lewis Black.
He has also been seen on Comedy Central's Premium Blend, Roast of Denis Leary, and made multiple appearances on David Letterman. He has appeared in the movies The Touch, starring Michelle Yeoh; Mystery Men, starring Ben Stiller (as Waffle Man), and Torque.
His first CD, Harmful If Swallowed, was released by Comedy Central Records after Dane had released it himself for a few years, along with a DVD containing the uncut Comedy Central Presents and some other clips from Dane. The CD/DVD was a best-seller and his second CD, Retaliation, will be released in 2005, along with a documentary DVD of his last US tour, Tourgasm.
He can be found on the web at www.danecook.com.
An Interview with Dane Cook
This is an interview I did with stand-up comedian Dane Cook. You can even find it on his website, although I figured I'd share it here too.
Dane Cook: So, hey, man, what's up? What's your story, where you from?
droidguy1119: Oh, I'm in Washington, city of Kent, Kentwood High School...we've got a great football team.
DC: *laughs* Yeah, I'm from Boston. We've got a great football team -- the New England Patriots!
dg1119: Going to the Superbowl.
DC: Yeah! I'm psyched!
dg1119: Yeah. So, what effect do you think Comedy Central has on comedians, with all the exposure you get with being on TV?
DC: Well, I think Comedy Central's great. It's a great way to get out there, and have people know your stuff, the Comedy Central Presents stuff was a big deal for me.
dg1119: Do you think it has a negative aspect to it?
DC: Well, yeah, but, doesn't everything? I mean, sometimes people can look at Comedy Central, and I'm sure there's gripes, where people say "Oh, well, why's that guy on there," or "there's not enough comedy, as far as straight stand-up," I've heard people say that the past few years, that they have more regular content...it's like MTV, how they used to show a lot more videos, and now it's all 'The Real World.'
dg1119: Is there a Comedy Central 'community'? I mean, do you hang out or talk to the other comedians?
DC: Yeah, well, that's the great thing about doing a half-hour special or a Premium Blend, normally you get to finally participate, and work on something with all these people you've known over the years...I know pretty much everybody...I've done shows in New York with those guys you see on those shows, like Tough Crowd, shows like that, even though I'm based out of LA. The comedy community is pretty tight, even though there's new guys coming in all the time...you tend to kind of get to know people as they come up the ranks, and when it's moving along, you start making fans who are into you, or your point of view, and you never know who's going to be a fan. Sometimes bands are fans, a director...
DC: Like, Stuck on You, you know, I did that with the Farrelly brothers, and I've known them forever...I have a small part in Torque, and the director saw my stand-up, liked it.
dg1119: Do you have a preference for big to small movies? I mean, 8 Guys is a smaller movie compared to Stuck on You or Mystery Men.
DC: Honestly, it really doesn't matter to me. You know, stand-up comedy and acting are so different anyway, but you know, just the opportunity to do something different in that medium...I mean, stand-up, I'm the writer, actor, director, bouncer, producer, whatever, and then you walk into a film set, where you're just one part, a tool, to make their story come to life. I would continue to do it in any way that I can, continue to do stand-up on the side, make a career...I love acting.
dg1119: Are you more offered parts, like with the Farrelly Brothers and Stuck on You, mostly from people who know you from somewhere, or do you get to choose your parts?
DC: There's different stages at this point, people know me from stand-up...
dg1119: What about Thieves' Fortune?
DC: Yeah, that's something I wrote a few years ago, again, completely away from comedy, it's a thriller action movie, it's certainly something I'd like for more people to see and be able to read, but you know, there's a certain pecking order, you come out to LA, and you can't just say "oh, this is going to be next," you have to get in line, kind of wait your turn, and I've of course done that with stand-up, and if it leads to making this movie, that's great, and I'm just going to keep writing and keep a backlog of stories and ideas, and when that day comes, maybe I can branch out.
dg1119: About the fans, you seem to have a good repertoire with them, with the Instant Messenger screen name.
DC: *laughs* Yeah, I mean, with me, it's all about hustling and trying to meet as many people as I can, I remember reading a story about Aerosmith, back in the day, in my hometown of Boston, and what they used to do, they would hand out flyers, and go, "Hey, what's up, we're Aerosmith, come check us out," and then, when people would check out the flyers, there wouldn't be any dates on them, it would just say "Aerosmith in Boston." And people would be like, "Hey, when's your show, there's no date," and they would just say, "Well, we don't have anything set up right now, but if you hear about us, check us out." And I thought that was amazing that they would still get people to come. I'm going to use the internet the same exact way, the guy standing on the street corner with a flyer, anyone who comes along, I'm gonna throw them a link, talk to them for a minute, say hey...and it's gotten to the point where I get on there, I mean, literally, hundreds of windows will start opening up in ten seconds. It's gotten to the point where I have to reformat my screen, just to see them all, because everyone just wants to shoot me a "what's up," or a "hey, I like your stuff," you know, and its overwhelming, but it's a great way to reach out, and connect with a worldwide audience.
dg1119: What's next? More TV shows, appearances, a new CD?
DC: Yeah, I'm working on the follow up CD to Harmful If Swallowed, just trying to figure out exactly what we want to do there, do something else that's something unique, the first one, obviously, with the CD/DVD, which, you know, I had been the first comic ever, to put out a combination like that, and we want to figure out a way to do something else that's different. But it's like, so many people are still discovering the first one, I'm in no rush to get the next one out, although I would like to do it something in the next six to seven months.
dg1119: Well, my friends and I, we all thought the DVD was really great, with the longer Comedy Central Presents stuff, because, you know, you never get to see all that stuff.
DC: Yeah, well, when Comedy Central asked me what I wanted to do with the DVD, I told them I wanted to put on the unedited version of the half-hour show, because, for me, I wish some of the stuff they didn't show on TV had been in the special, some of the stuff that I would have picked instead of the editors, so it's cool that you guys enjoyed it.
dg1119: Only a couple more questions...
DC: No problem.
dg1119: What makes you laugh?
DC: The movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles always makes me laugh. Every time.
dg1119: One of the other staff members asked me to ask you what it felt like to punch Jimmy Kimmel?
DC: *laughs* Nobody knew I was going to do that. He was completely not expecting me to do that, I got it in my head that I was going to tell this story about the fight that I got into, and then really smack Jimmy. But then, when I came back on Friday, they brought out this box with this female contortionist in it, and I opened it, and once I opened it, I knew I was going to get hit, and I thought, well, okay, he took the hit, I'll take the hit for the show,but, yeah, they had this girl in there, and she just cracked me in the face, so it felt good when I got him, but when he got me back, I thought, alright, no more punching Jimmy Kimmel.
TF: Alright, and my English teacher says she's in love with you.
DC: *laughs* Alright, well, tell her to send all naked pictures to the email@example.com.
dg1119: Alright, well, thanks for letting me talk to you for awhile.
DC: No, thank you. I appreciate it, and honestly, you know, it's flattering to have people who want to get in there, and get to know me or talk about my stand up, so, I want to thank you for the opportunity.
Note: In the middle of this interview, Dane also had to go stop his dog from getting into a fight. I thought it was pretty funny, but I didn't get it on tape...