Last night, audiences at Los Angeles’ The Laugh Factory were treated to a surprise set from comedian Dane Cook—and by “treated to,” we mean “bombarded with,” and by “set,” we mean “the egotistical ramblings of a narcissist who has lost all touch with humility and quite possibly humanity.” At least, that’s the basic gist of several eyewitness accounts from some of the comedians who were there—some of whom, like Daniel Kinno, found themselves bumped so that Cook could take the stage for as long as he wanted while he worked out new material, a raw process of discovery that Kinno describes thusly: “Watched him spiral for 45 minutes before I left. Could have been worse, he could have done his act.”
YouTube star Jenna Marbles was slightly less charitable or pithy, saying, “Dane Cook took a shit on everyone. Might as well have been literally.” And stand-up comic and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon writer Ali Waller provided a more specific appraisal, saying, “Glad Dane Cook stopped by the Improv tonight, otherwise I'd never hear the story about how he ‘chainsaw-fucked’ a ‘disgusting whore's cunt.’” (Aww, you missed that? Yes, you missed that.)
But no one offered a more detailed—or more scathing—review than comedian and actor T.J. Miller, who spent last night and much of this morning unspooling his assessment not only of Cook’s set, but his entire career and current state of mind. Here it is, in chronological order:
“Fucking Dane Cook is eating [shit] at the laugh factory. He bumped [Bobby Lee] and is being just mean… The hubris of this man unfortunately led to his fall, but I'm afraid he is a damaged man & well, that's about it. He [is] certainly not a comedian… Watching him try and work through his own shit on stage when he is saying, ‘Go fuck a dirty whore. That's the best therapy.’ #lord… Dane. You've been doing standup for so many years and you still believe it’s okay to bomb and talk about your issues? You. Didn't. Earn This…
I remember hearing [about] someone named 'Dane Cook' in college on Napster. I heard Harmful If Swallowed after college… Then there was a backlash (there always is, it's inevitable), but it grew. It was more than I could believe, and it was due in part to him… I liked him. His snake bit, a lot of sort of absurdist stuff. Suddenly he was on SNL, he was the 'king' of MySpace, [and] he was famous. Good Luck Chuck and Vicious Circle sealed his fate in contemporary culture.
And then last night, he got on stage and was vicious, misogynistic, cruel, and arrogant. He talked about not paying for an abortion. He talked about finding some whore to fuck to take out his anger at his ex-girlfriend. He talked about how girls would do anything for him ‘because I'm me.’ He got mad when people were texting. ‘Dane Cook is onstage,’ he said. ‘Have some fucking respect.’
Here's an idea, Dane: have some fucking respect for the audience that gave you the chance to be what you dreamed of being, and don't be mad at them because you fucked it all up from hubris and thirst for fame. Don't disrespect the people that gave you a chance. Don’t do an hour of mean-spirited trash. And Dane Cook, certainly don't ask anyone to feel sorry for you. If you are the person you were onstage last night then you are not a good person. And the way you talk about women is disgusting and pathetic, but really just hurtful. So Good Luck Chuck. [You] need all the luck in the world to realize you need to go to therapy & figure out how to not be a hateful person. Stop performing until [you] do so.”
Cook has yet to comment on (or notice, perhaps) either Miller’s review or his own performance, although he did respond to one fan’s expression of gratitude for stopping by, saying, “Incredible night. Felt connected/something special happening.” Sooo…. “special” like “forging a bold new comic voice” special? Or like “chainsaw-fucking a dirty whore’s cunt” special?