Dane Cook

Dane Jeffrey Cook (born March 18, 1972 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) is an American stand-up comedian and screen actor.

His recent routines include such diverse topics as car accident mayhem, his time spent working at Burger King and assorted geek humor. Cook often refers to specific places or things using his own slang terms. For instance: Burger King is the "BK Lounge" (a phrase first used by alterna-rap group De La Soul), Walgreens is "The Wall" , and a sandwich is a "sangwich". He also popularized the acronym BAMF, short for Bad Ass Mother Fucker, a slight variation on the more common and widely used "BMF", or "Bad Mother Fucker". Among Cook's numerous television credits are performances on Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Bar Mitzvah Bash.

He is often referred to as 'the most popular guy on MySpace' (next to Tom Anderson, the creator of the service), because at one time he approved every friend request he received -- recently hitting one million.

Cook grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts, and attended Arlington High School. He was raised Roman Catholic and is of Irish and Italian heritage.

When he was a teenager, he loved being in front of the camera and would bring it to work and tape himself. His father always observed how he made jokes out of everything. He was inspired by watching and listening to a variety of comedians, including Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson, George Carlin and even Red Skelton.

In seventh grade he watched Saturday Night Live one night and saw Martin Short's character Ed Grimley. He suddenly realized a goal in life: to be on the show.

He started performing stand-up comedy in 1990. By 1995, Cook was performing stand-up comedy every night, usually in Boston and later at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. He stated in a 2005 interview with Entertainment Weekly that he "never walked toward a stage and felt heavy. Ever. Even in bad places, I always learned something." Also in 1995, Cook made his television debut as Kyle in five episodes of the short-lived ABC series Maybe This Time, starring Marie Osmond and Betty White.

He made his first appearance in a major motion picture as "The Waffler" (a superhero who uses a waffle iron and "truth syrup" to fight crime) in Mystery Men (1999). A year earlier, he was featured on Comedy Central's stand-up comedy showcase Premium Blend and, the following year, Comics Come Home. It would begin a partnership with the cable channel that would help launch Cook's career to new heights. A half-hour feature segment on Comedy Central Presents followed in 2000.

1999 also saw Cook starring in the straight-to-video Dennis Rodman vehicle, Simon Sez. Often thought to be a sequel to the mildly successful Jean Claude Van Damme film, Simon Sez actually has nothing to do with Double Team. In the film Cook plays Rodman's partner, Nick Miranda. The film was directed by Kevin Elders, previously known as the screenwriter for Aces: Iron Eagle III.

Two years later, Cook pooled $25,000 of his own money from savings and retirement accounts and launched DaneCook.com, his own interactive website to help further his career and help stay personally connected to his fans. Although other comics mocked him, his website, along with his MySpace account, turned out to be a success.

In 2002 and 2003, Dane was featured as the voice of 3 puppets on the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers, which featured real prank phone calls being recorded in a studio and then re-enacted by puppets. 4 of Dane's calls were aired between July 2002 and April 2003. He took on the aliases of Sav McCauley, Gene Winterbuck and Foreign Guy.

In 2003, Cook released his first comedy album, Harmful If Swallowed.

In 2003 Dane Cook also released the film 8 Guys, which he wrote, directed, and starred in.

In 2005, Cook launched a nationwide tour dubbed "Tourgasm" (highlights from which aired as "Dane Cook's Tourgasm." It debuted on HBO June 11, 2006) as a follow up to his second album Retaliation, which debuted at #4 on Billboard magazine's Top Albums chart, the most successful comedy album debut since Steve Martin's A Wild and Crazy Guy in 1979. Cook wore a T-shirt depicting Steve Martin and "A Wild And Crazy Guy" at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards.

The album's success launched a slew of public appearances and magazine articles that fall, including a three-minute routine on the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28. He also performed three sold-out shows in two nights at Madison Square Garden, a 2,500 to 5,000 seat venue, in mid-September without any press but his own website.

During a May 2005 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Cook parodied Tom Cruise's "couch jumping" Oprah appearance and made a "tattoo" of Katie Holmes (actually a picture taped to his back) and barged into the women's restroom to get her.

During an October 2005 appearance on The Tonight Show, he kissed Charlize Theron's butt after she allowed him to do so. Cook was re-enacting a previous joke/act in which Charlize kissed Shirley MacLaine's butt at a Premiere magazine tribute to women in Hollywood.

He also appeared and performed on Dave Attell's Insomniac Tour.

He finished his own television pilot called Cooked, which he is writing and starring in, soon afterwards.

On December 3, 2005, Cook finally realized his dream of hosting Saturday Night Live. His appearance was unique because he was one of the few stand-up comedians (as opposed to actors) to appear as guest host for the show in a long time. He performed the longest monologue in the show's history (around ten minutes long) while using a handheld microphone, another rarity for SNL. The episode was one of the highest-rated SNLs of the season, despite that the episode was voted one of the worst moments in entertainment in 2005 by "Entertainment Weekly".

On January 13, 2006, after months of keeping a "BIG secret" from his fans, he announced via his website an April 15 gig at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden where his first HBO special, titled Dane Cook's Vicious Circle, was eventually filmed. A documentary series and a scripted program are also in the works for HBO. In the week prior to the televised gig, he performed at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas (April 8) and Allstate Arena in Chicago (April 13), the largest venues he's ever performed in those cities.

His mother, Donna Cook, passed away after a long bout with cancer on July 3rd, 2006.

Cook was recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico working on a new movie called Employee of the Month, a comedy co-starring Jessica Simpson (who he's been linked to romantically by the tabloid press), Dax Shepard, Efren Ramirez and Harland Williams.

He is also currently filming the psychological thriller Mr. Brooks in Shreveport, Louisiana with Kevin Costner. He was named in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2006.

While shooting a movie in Vancouver, Dane Cook made the local papers for his behavior in a comedy club. His actions were called "very immature". Dane Cook has yet to make comment on this event.

Dane Cook did his first HBO comedy special, an hour and a half long presentation which debuted on September 4, 2006. The comedy special was filmed at TD Banknorth Garden in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts on a circular stage surrounded by a sold-out crowd. The stage had on it the impression of his famous Su-Fi finger gesture.

During this HBO special, Cook made a series of pro-Catholic jokes, which is in moderate contrast to previous material where he mocked the Church (although the mockings were rarely in a heavily critical or degrading manner). It is unclear if this is a genuine change of stance, or merely a footing for comedy material, as his pro-Catholic stance was pivotal for the comedy routine performed.

Dane Cook's next TV appearance is in the season premiere for Saturday Night Live on September 30th, 2006, with The Killers as the musical guest.

The Super Finger or Su-Fi (pronounced su-fai) is a hand gesture. It consists of raising the middle finger, ring finger, and thumb on the same hand while lowering (or curling) the index and pinky fingers. Cook's website explains his idea behind the Su-Fi:

One night I did a bit on stage about 5 years ago at the Laugh Factory. I was talking about how the finger is lame now and it's lost its pizzazz. I said I wanted to upgrade the finger and so from now on people should use both the ring finger coupled with the middle finger. I called it the SUPERFINGER (or SU-FI).

In 2005, Cook started his own company to produce his albums and videos, which he named Superfinger Entertainment.

After the release of his immensely successful CD / DVD Retaliation, many fans of comedy took note of three bits on Cook's CD. On June 10, 1999, comedian Louis CK performed stand-up on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, one of the bits being about naming kids and wanting to name his kid with one letter repeated many times. On CK's debut CD, Louis CK: Live in Houston, which was released in 2000, CK had a bit called "Itchy Asshole". CK has also performed a routine on both his CD, Late Night, and other television programs called "Guy on a Bike", which was a routine about witnessing someone struck by a car and wondering how quickly to warn someone before the accident. In 2005, Dane Cook performed and released three similar routines on Retaliation. CK commented on the similarities, noting what he considered clear examples of cribbing material, but said that he did not intend to act on these findings. For his part, Cook has yet to respond.

He has also been noted as having similar manerisms, as well as similar storylines, to Daniel Tosh, a comedian who was gaining popularity at around the same time.

On Saturday, July 22, 2006, Dane Cook was played off the stage at Yuk Yuk's comedy club in Vancouver. Cook was in town for six weeks shooting the film Good Luck Chuck with Jessica Alba and his agent had requested a slot for him, after that night's headliner.

When he arrived Cook wanted an earlier set, so he was given the slot before the headliner with the understanding that he do less time. He either could not see or ignored the red light so the club's manager cut his mic and tried to play him off with music. Cook was quite surprised by this but continued his act, until the manager cut his mic and tried to play him off again; this time it was successful, resulting in Cook dropping his mic in a fit of anger and walking off the stage.

Discography / Videography:

* Harmful If Swallowed DVD and CD. Comedy Central, 2003.
* Retaliation DVD and two CDs. Comedy Central, 2005.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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