Friday, July 6, 2012

In Defense of Dane Cook

It has become fashionable to rip on Dane Cook. I think it appeals to most people's inner hipster. People do it all the time and the other day some crappy little website listed the worst 15 stand-up comedians ranking Dane the worst. He's become the Nickleback of comedians, I get it.

Look, Dane Cook doesn't need me to come to his rescue. The dude has millions in the bank, even after his brother screwed him. The dude also fills arenas every time he tours. Plus, he got to kiss Jessica Simpson before she got fat. And if it was just non-comedian types ripping him I would keep my piehole shut. 

Does he rip off jokes? Sure. But at least he steals from the best. I've had comedians steal from me. There is a discernible drop off from Louis CK to me. If you are going to steal, steal well. 

Is he long winded? A bit. But sometimes he is quite funny.  

Again, my beef isn't with the general public or some crappy writer from some third rate website ripping on Dane. My problem is all the comedians on Facebook and in comedy clubs ripping on Dane. 

First of all Dane Cook does things a lot of comedians don't do: long before any of us were utilizing social media he was pushing Myspace (yeah, Myspace) to its maximum potential. He had a snazzy website before most comedians could spell HTTP. Frankly, most of us are still not nearly as adept at taking advantage of social media as Dane has been. There was no stage that was too small or too little paying because he understood that every audience member was another person to spread his brand. He set down a map for the rest of us to follow.

"If you can't be funny, be interesting" -Bill Hicks

When he performs he pours every ounce of himself onto that stage. What he lacks in traditional set-ups/punchlines he makes up for in high energy. Keeping your energy at that high a level, night after night is a feat unto itself. It makes him entertaining even when he's not funny. 

Every time I hear a comedian rip on Dane it piques my curiosity. I pay attention to their set, to their work ethic. I listen to the things they say about the road, about club owners, about audiences. I think I have figured out some things about comedians who rip Dane Cook.

They are a deserving lot. "I deserve..." is a phrase I often hear from their gullets. I deserve my break... I deserve a show of my own... I deserve to headline (that last one is my favorite). No one deserves a fucking thing, sweetheart. You either earn it or you don't. Killing for six minutes at an open mic at the Comedy Store does not mean you are special. It means you're better than you were when you started. Kudos. Now get on the road and get even better. Oh, you won't work for $100 a night and a shitty motel night after night? Then quit bitching and welcome to a lifetime of real jobs and open mics. They want the success Dane has, they just don't want to bust their ass to get it. 

And you are not - repeat NOT - going to headline until you can get asses in seats. 

Another thing I notice about comedians who rip Dane - they rip on other comics. And they steal from them, too. Hi hypocrisy.

The irony is that when I meet comedians who are on the road, working their ass off, creating their own brand - they NEVER bash Dane or any other comedian. They don't have time to. They get how hard this really is. They aren't waiting for a break, they are making their own.  

If you're a comedian you should know you just sound like a douche when you rip another comedian - even if that comedian is Dane Cook. 

Quit being assholes, comedians.  

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