Perhaps you already know the answer to the query presented in the title above if you follow the stand-up comedy scene.
If that’s not the case, you might simply remember Dane Cook as a vivacious comic who delighted Americans in the 2000s with his ability to shout, flail his arms, and race across a stage. During that time, Cook seemed bound for success in movies and television, but sometime around 2010 or so, he all but disappeared from the media.
If you are in Gen Z or below, you probably don’t know who Dane Cook is because you were too young to enjoy his frequently bawdy, profanity-filled routines when he first became well-known, contrary to what millennials may think.
In all honesty, Cook’s fall from cultural ubiquity is a tired subject. What’s the issue with former famous person Dane Cook? is a query that is used as the opening line of a lot of stories. Since at least 2017, Looper has had this nagging question. Even as late as 2019, some headlines stated that he was about to make a comeback, but it hasn’t happened – at least not yet.
People continue to be curious as to why Dane Cook disappeared from the entertainment landscape, regardless of whether they like Dane Cook, dislike Dane Cook, or liked Cook in the 2000s and now claim they hated him all along. Let’s go back and see what Cook did incorrectly.
The Dane Cook bubble was certain to burst.
It’s one thing for an actor to land a few desirable movie parts before fading from view, or for a musician to release a smash song before never repeating the feat. Such events frequently take place. But at its peak, Dane Cook’s popularity was completely unheard of, or at least it seemed that way.
In 2006, Cook sold-out Madison Square Garden. George Carlin and Eddie Murphy are among the extremely few comedians who have done the same. There hadn’t been a comedian in the top 5 since Steve Martin in 1978, according to Billboard, until 2005’s “Retaliation” rose to the No. 4 spot on their list (not the comedy chart; the general chart that also includes all the music).
The other shoe was going to drop, and the retaliatory anti-Cook feeling was ruthless because Cook had been overhyped and overexposed before the end of the 2000s. People stopped giggling at the Whopper Lair on their Discmans or vintage iPods and started calling Cook a grouchy, fat jerk. Favoring Nickelback or Dane Cook has become equally unfashionable. He has obviously not received a fresh invitation to return to MSG.
To his credit, Cook seems to be approaching his failure with pragmatism.
“Oh, I foresaw [the response],” he admits in “You Up? Nikki Glaser is with.” “I think I was useful. “I’m ready to degenerate and then evolve again,” I think to myself.” He goes on, “Fans will come and go, but we’re in it for the long haul.”
His shift to acting was less than seamless.
At his peak, Dane Cook’s fame in stand-up comedy was practically unrivaled. Moving from stand-up to film or television looked like the logical next step, and many great comedians, like Richard Pryor and Jim Carrey, have done so. But as an actor, he never achieved anything.
Not for want of effort, either. Dane Cook experimented with everything from 1999’s ill-received “Simon Sez” (co-starring Dennis Rodman, of all people), to a 2005 pre-“Deadpool” Ryan Reynolds vehicle, to misguided attempts to establish Cook as a leading man like 2006’s “Employee of the Month” and 2007’s “Good Luck Chuck,” to the oddly conceived murder drama “Mr. Brooks,” to an NBC sitcom Sadly, he never truly found his niche away from the theatre. Even the groundbreaking 1999 film “Mystery Men,” in which Cook has a fleeting but unforgettable appearance as up-and-coming superhero “The Waffler,” was technically a huge financial flop upon its release, proving that even before he became famous.
Of course, some of the greatest standup comedians ever have had enormous success in other, more popular media. But how realistic is it to expect everyone to be Robin Williams? Onstage, Cook may be a dynamic and wholly original presence, but in front of the camera, he’s simply another schlub. In Hollywood, there are at least a thousand regular people who are equally capable of performing that task. Cook also asserted that his acting career was over since it was “harder to enter into humorous parts” if he wasn’t “writing it and building it from the ground up [yourself] because you don’t want to be fake for your fans.” Yes, Jan.
Maybe he didn’t come up with the jokes himself?
Then a stench of the scandal emerged. On Dane Cook’s massively successful album “Retaliation,” at least three of the sketches are audible, and they sound remarkably identical to ones Louis C.K. performed years earlier. In stand-up comedy, stealing jokes is a big no-no, but Cook denied any intentional plagiarism occurred.
Due to discoveries about his personal conduct, Louis C.K. quickly transitioned from a huge Hollywood celebrity to a persona non grata himself in 2017. In 2019, Cook indicated that his disgraced ex-colleague benefitted from falsely accusing him of stealing intellectual property. Cook was no longer concerned about the repercussions of criticizing Louis C.K. in the media.
Cook says to The Hollywood Reporter, “I think he recognized that he could be more popular talking about why I shouldn’t be popular.” “He definitely did benefit from it. Because of that, it appeared as though he was on a publicity tour.”
Cook’s reputation couldn’t be saved by Louis C.K.’s image being tarnished, though. Whatever the case, many people continue to link Cook to theft. Cook also didn’t need to use any original material to cause difficulty. He had to apologize for making a crude joke about the awful Aurora tragedy too quickly, which caused him trouble in 2012.
A severe embezzlement incident implicated members of his family.
Dane Cook is not the kind of person who quickly generates pity since he is a wealthy, well-known person with a punchable onstage presence. But it’s difficult to look at how his financial situation and family life developed around December 2008 without feeling rather horrible for him.
Although it hasn’t occurred to us, we presume that when a member of your own family steals millions of dollars from you, it has a significant negative impact on your emotional and mental health.
CNN said that Darryl McCauley, who was Cook’s half-brother and former business manager, admitted to stealing $12 million from his renowned sister, and his wife Erika McCauley admitted to abusing their access to Cook’s funds. Both McCauleys received lengthy terms of probation in addition to their jail sentences of six and three years, respectively.
Cook certainly had other issues on his mind, so we can’t hold it against him if he wasn’t as focused on his job from around 2008 to 2011 as it appeared he could have been. Dane Cook has not yet learned to laugh about the moment his brother ripped him off in 2018.
We must inform you that Cook is dating a woman who is roughly half his age.
Significant age gaps in love partnerships are contentious, raising questions and attracting moral criticism. In Hollywood, especially, it’s not the norm, but enough individuals in their 20s (and occasionally even younger) date people in their 40s and above that it’s also not precisely unheard of.
However, it is undoubtedly odd for Cook to talk about his girlfriend as often as he tends to talk about Kelsi Taylor, his 26-year-old sweetheart, in the media and on social media.
There is a fine line between Cook’s evident wish to make his connection public and the point at which he might as well be upfront about it because the media would report on it anyhow.
Let’s face it, Hugh Hefner is no longer with us, we live in a post-#MeToo world, and society (largely) no longer celebrates old billionaires having affairs with women who are easily their daughters’ age. Cook potentially would’ve been wise to spin his connection in the media before an inquisitive, opportunistic gossip writer could do it for him, even though there is no proof or suggestion of crime here.