Comedian Dane Cook – the once prodigal son of Boston comedy – may be feeling a little foolish today, or at least he should be. As scores of musical legends gathered in Boston last night for the One Fund benefit concert, it seems the only thing being talked about the day after is the somewhat self-absorbed move Cook pulled on essentially the whole of the city.
While heavyweight acts such as Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, and James Taylor (to name a few) took to the stage to perform for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and their families and friends, Cook took full advantage of his allotted stage time to test out 5-7 minutes of new material before he takes it on tour. Sounds like an awesome opportunity for Cook fans in the city that got him started, right?
Theoretically, yes. The lucky folks who were able to snatch up tickets to the benefit in the roughly five minutes it took for them to sell out surely enjoyed seeing such a high-profile comedian return to his hometown with new jokes. Those who couldn’t attend the show, however, were quite literally left in the dark as Cook demanded the live feed of the event be pulled for his performance:
Yes, that’s correct: on a night when some of the biggest names in entertainment have come together to support a city after an unbelievably horrible tragedy – to celebrate the victims and the city – Dane Cook managed to make it about himself. While some can understand Cook’s desire to keep his new material under wraps, one can’t help but wonder just why Cook chose that particular event as his medium for testing out jokes. Comedian Lenny Clarke, who also shared the stage at last night’s benefit, called in to WEEI following the show to express his outrage over Cook’s decision to alienate Boston fans.
“Performing at the Garden to me, that’s pretty huge. Performing for the victims and survivors is even more huge, and I wanted to do the best set of my life. I’m not doing this for my career; I’m doing this for the right reasons,” Clarke stated about the event. “You’re talking about a guy whose brother stole more money than I’ve earned. What is wrong with this kid? Let me tell you…probably one of the stupidest moves I’ve ever heard in my life. And in Boston? This town? Not around here. These people are the greatest people in the world, and you’re going to pull that crap?”
“Comedians should have written and performed new Boston themed material for the event. It was about the event. The victims, 1st responders and all those involved. It should never be about any one entity. It became, and no matter how it happened, about 1 performer, the host. It denigrates all the good intention of the event.”
There were also rumors that amongst the new material Cook tested out was a joke he had written about the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting (one that did not end well for the comedian when he tried the joke last year in Los Angeles), which I’m sure was a welcome topic for a benefit crowd. One has to wonder if it was worth it in the end for Dane Cook to anger throngs of fans in his hometown just to see if he’s still got it with his new stuff.
It seems these days that if you’re hearing about Dane Cook, it’s probably not for the right reasons. Maybe it’s time to dive back into that movie career and put the microphone down soon?
Written by: Angie Frissore (Twitter)