Poor Dane Cook. He's in the doghouse. Wait: being in the doghouse would foster the implication that he might one day get out of it. It hasn't happened yet and I have the sinking feeling it won't. One minute he was a household-name-comedy-Super-Star, standing up in cable comedy concerts, selling out Madison Square Garden and starring in laugh-a-minute comedy films; and the next he can't get work at Giggles comedy club in Saugus, Massachusetts. And he's a Masshole. How did this happen? What went wrong? Let's explore...
Seriously. Dane Cook was a huge star in the earlier 2000s. And now it's like he's been banished to Tristan da Cunha. Personally, I never watched any of his stand-up specials. But I did see both Employee of the Month and Good Luck Chuck at the movies. There must've not been much to choose from when those were released. It certainly wasn't destination cinema. But I saw them. He was moderately amusing. A so-so actor. Better than so-so; but definitely room for improvement. I didn't hate him. In fact, I was kind of intrigued by his sort of hangdog good looks and Muppet-like speaking voice: like his tongue was too big for his mouth. I think he tried his hand at drama too. He was in Mr. Brooks, a psycho-thriller with Kevin Costner. I haven't seen it, so I will withhold comment.
So what did Dane do to get himself so thoroughly dismissed from "The Biz"?
Well, one of the things he did, apparently, that did not endear him to anyone in the biz; was steal material from other comedians. Louis C.K. in particular. But, in doing a little research for this story, it seems that for all the decrying of this practice by people in comedy: everybody does it. Even people like the beloved Robin Williams would steal from other comics. Williams copped to it. So have others. But Dane steadfastly took a deny, deny, deny stance even when he was directly confronted by Louis C.K. I mean, I think that's how it went down. Maybe if he'd just said, "You know what Louis? I confess. I flat out ripped you off." He'd probably still be working today. Also, he could've asked Louis why Louis thought anyone would want to see him masturbate. Like, even his girlfriend probably doesn't wanna see that. I wouldn't want to see it. And I'm into "gingers."
Now, as for the quality of Dane's material, I also can't comment. I've never seen one of his "sets." Like I said, I saw the movies; but I don't think he wrote the scripts. Could it be--and this is just conjecture on my part--that people, at first, thought he was funny; but then realized that in actuality, he really wasn't funny at all. That they'd mistaken annoyance for having their funny bones tickled?
Like I said, Dane is a "Masshole." A Masshole is anyone born in the Bay State. Massholes think they're better than everyone else. They're entitled. Maybe that's why Dane did what Dane dood. Arrogance is the hob-goblin of true greatness.
Speaking of Massholes: here's another comedian who has a reputation for comedy theft and has lost no love with a lot of his colleagues.
Speaking of Boston area comics. Are you familiar with Jackie Flynn?
Hmmmm...here's another ginger comedian from the Boston area who was accused of stealing jokes (and a dyed-in-the-wool-tried-and-true-H-bomb**-dropping-Masshole):
We can't leave the girls out of this...
Finally, here's Patton Oswalt talking about the subject.
(Are you old enough to know where I stole that from?):
Would I watch any of the following masturbate in front of me?
Dane Cook - In a New York minute!
Amy Shumer - In a New Jersey minute!
Patton Oswalt - In a New Mexico minute!
Arte Johnson - In a New Hebrides minute!
Jackie Flynn - Hey, don't be gross. He dated my sister dude.
*Assholeism should not be confused with Massholeism. Assholeism is really just being a really big asshole.
**Please see my blog entitled: "How I Got Into Harvard Without Really Trying."