After recently performing yet another stand-up comedy act on Showtime this October 2014 entitled Troublemaker, the comedy genius Dane Cook does it again. The comedian left his enormous audience wanting more after his show that night. Using his unique sense of humor, coupled with his brilliant delivery, Cook has become a comedy legend.
Cook made his television stand-up debut on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend back in 1998 with his half-hour act. In 2003, he released his CD/DVD act Harmful If Swallowed, which went platinum, followed by his 2005 release of Retaliation, which went double-platinum, making him the first comic in 29 years to have a Billboard hit album at number four. He later went on to break the Laugh Factory’s endurance record, last held by Richard Pryor, by performing for 3-hours and 50-minutes.
Cook quickly exploded in the entertainment industry after performing his first HBO Special Vicious Circle nearly a decade ago. He then embarked on a college tour called Tourgasm in that same year, which was later released as a nine-episode documentary on HBO. He followed with such stand-up acts as headlining for Dave Attell’s Insomniac Hour (2006), Isolated Incident (2009), and Rough Around The Edges (2007), which made him the second comedian to ever sell out Madison Square Garden.
Cook’s abilities as an entertainer won him the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live for the first time in 2005. Unlike several notable comedians over the last 40 years, who have gained fame from SNL, Cook was not one of them. He did however grace the show with his hilarious opening monologue and won the audience over with his incredibly well performed sketches, becoming one of the funniest entertainers to host the long-running series.
Along with many other comedians who rose to fame after their television stand-up debuts like Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy and Kevin James, Cook followed a similar path leading him to the film industry. After the success of Vicious Circle, he had taken on new roles in comedy films such as Waiting and Employee Of The Month, bringing his career to a whole new level. Over the course of his career he has worked with well-known actors such as Jessica Alba, Justin Long, Jason Biggs and Jessica Simpson. After proving his talent as a comedian, he went on to more serious work in 2007 with the films Mr. Brooks co-starring next to Kevin Costner and Dan In Real Life, co-starring next to Steve Carell.
After the loss of both of his parents to cancer Cook took a year off of work to challenge himself as a comedian. He said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “I took a year off in 2010, and my goal was [to] work as hard on myself as I ever have on my standup. And I’m glad I did that, because I can honestly say that I feel now very similar to how I felt before the first CD broke, which was all love.”
Cook made his way back to stand-up and back into the limelight with his most recent stand-up act, tackling some of the same issues he always has like human behavior, human sexuality, American politics and gender differences, with his new take on them. Troublemaker, a title so fitting for this comedy genius’ latest show—as Cook makes waves yet again.
By Robert Masucci
Photo by Grant – Flickr