This weekend a video clip created by Youtuber Katie Mears who often makes clips about comedy and comedians started to make the rounds. In the clip Mears posed the question, “Do We Own Dane Cook An Apology?” and presented the world with a 15 minute clip that dives into the meteoric rise of Dane Cook and why the haters came out.
Mears broke the argument against Cook into a handful of points that addressed everything from his act, his marketing, joke thievery, and his personal life. Taking aim at the arguments against Cook and wondering where the hate came from. It’s a good watch for comedy fans who might have a love/hate relationship with Cook whose career took off very fast and watched the comedian reach Rock Star status in the early 2000s.
While watching this we developed a few takeaways.
With a meteoric rise, you have a meteoric fall. We as a public love to make stars and take them out just as fast. Cook went beyond comedy and frankly made it something relevant again. He was the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden (after Dice in the 80s) since then about a dozen or so comics have done it. Comedy is BIG again and Dane Cooke got that wave started.
Cook was a master marketer before anyone else figured it out. Today a comedian cannot thrive without having a presence on social media and ability to market themselves. Cook was the first to crack that code and everyone… and we mean everyone, ran with it. Cook built his own audience at a time when other comedians were still playing the game with networks hoping someone would give them a break, Cook made his own opportunities, something every comic covets today.
His act is high energy, so what? Comedians come in all types, there’s the ones that are clever with the writing and others that are high energy and in your face. Some spend hours writing the perfect bit as other mess with the crowd.
In recent years Cook has appeared on podcasts and radio shows and in general those comics he speaks with seem to have a respect for Cook as they know what the grind takes to achieve what he did. In addition Patrice O’Neal always defended him and Kurt Metzger recently joked on his new podcast that the modern state of outrage comedy makes him yearn for the days of Dane Cook.