Dane Cook Interview
Dane Cook is one of America’s best comedians. He has been featured on Premium Blend, Comics Come Home, and Comedy Central Presents. Dane’s new album, Harmful If Swallowed, is out now on Comedy Central Records. Dane took some time out of his schedule to discuss David Letterman, his diet and being able to control the weather with his mind.
What were you like in high school?
Dane Cook: I was pretty quiet. I broke out of my shell in my junior year and started doing theatre and realized that I wanted to do comedy. It is also when I discovered that I had the ability to control the weather with my mind. Started fighting crime as “Weather Man” but got bored with it so stuck with comedy. Crime fighting is way too hyped.
What is your worst memory from high school?
Dane Cook: I got a giant pimple on my nose and I swear it felt like someone stapled my drunk uncle to my face. Everyone was startled when I walked down the halls until it went away.
What was your first job?
Dane Cook: My real first job was delivering newspapers with I was 15. I would ride my bike around and chuck papers at people’s houses. The thing that sucked is when I would go collecting everyone acted like they were not home. Totally sucked but because I could control the weather I showered trashcan size hail down on their homes until they were completely decimated.
Do you remember your worst gig?
Dane Cook: There are so many that it’s like never ending. Once someone threw a piece of corn at me and it hit my mouth. I could taste some hecklers corn! I stopped my show and said to the guy, “Why did you throw that at me?” He paused and finally burst out with, “Because your CORNY!” Needless to say he got the biggest laugh of the night. Until I harnessed the power of lighting to strike him down.
You move around a lot on stage, have you always been this hyper?
Dane Cook: Naw. I just get excited doing shows. It’s like saying to a basketball player “You like to run a lot and dribble huh?” No it’s just part of the job. I perform a style of comedy that has elements of physical and written comedy. Off stage I am actually very feeble and must be spoon-fed because my hands are too brittle.
Are there any specific events from your childhood that made you want to go into comedy?
Dane Cook: Just being around a funny family. They were making me laugh and I wanted to make others laugh. It’s the only thing I ever really wanted to pursue.
What’s the hardest thing about being on the road?
Keeping a steady diet. Back home I eat pretty well and once a week have a cheat day. On the road it’s like you’re sleeping with your head on a Whopper. Fast food is all around. One time I did a show and got some Wendy’s. I started driving home and like six hours later stopped and ate at another Wendy’s. I think I ordered the same stuff too. You really don’t work out a lot either. Not good.
What’s been your craziest thing that’s happened to you while touring?
Dane Cook: Well I was on the road and my manager called me and said “You just got a call from the people at the Late Show with David Letterman. They want you to come do stand-up on the show.” I was so happy that I don’t think I could talk. That was crazy because my goal in comedy was to do that show. A crazy/wonderful moment.
Are there comedy groupies?
Dane Cook: Sure are.
Do you have a favorite joke?
Dane Cook: Nope. I don’t ever do that. I just like being on stage. I don’t think of the jokes in that way. I do have times where certain jokes appeal to me so I do them more but I can’t point out one favorite joke from my show.
How did you think of the title Harmful If Swallowed?
Dane Cook: I was editing my CD and while I was doing the editing I went to use the bathroom. In the rest room was some cleaning solvents that the janitor left there. As I was doing my business I saw the warning on the bottle and as I flushed the toilet I yelled “I’VE GOT IT!!” There was really no other options. I thought that title said it all. It was adult and yet silly. That is kind of like me. It just fit plus my second choice was my moms home phone number and I don’t think she would have liked that.
What is the funniest track off of Harmful If Swallowed?
Dane Cook: That is for you to decide. But I like the part where the people laugh.
What are your plans for the summer?
Dane Cook: Vacation and after that continue to edit my follow up CD that comes out in the fall. Oh and I might play kickball with these kids down the street. I am convinced that I can kick a ball better than them.
What’s the best part about being a comedian?
Dane Cook: Hanging out with your comedian friends at two in the afternoon on a Thursday when you know most people are at work and thinking, damn, I am laughing and relaxing at two on a Thursday afternoon sitting outside. Lucky me.
If you weren’t in comedy what do you think you would be doing?
Dane Cook: Graphic arts stuff. I designed my first CDs cover and I do all that Photoshop stuff all the time. But not the dirty stuff. I don’t spend forty minutes trying to make it look like George Bush has a penis coming out of his neck.
What comedians have influenced you?
Dane Cook: All of them. I don’t have favorites. I really am a fan of the art of stand-up comedy.
When did you first realize you wanted to go into comedy?
Dane Cook: When I was dropped on my head as an infant everyone laughed and I knew I was blessed with a gift.
Describe yourself in three words.
Dane Cook: Spontaneous. Tough. Fearless.
What is the most aggravating aspect of our culture?
Dane Cook: I don’t like people that litter. If you don’t throw a wrapper in the trashcan and you just toss it out on the ground I wanna take you and toss you into outer space. But then again that would be like me littering the galaxy with my waste. Blah I don’t know the answer but I don’t like littering and I think it leads to terrorist activities. I can explain all the in’s and out’s here because my hypothesis is very involved, but I do think littering and terrorism are related.
If you could fight one celebrity, who would it be?
Dane Cook: Brad Pitt. I’d kick his ass all over the place. Is it okay if I fight him when he is 85?
Your comedy covers a wide range of topics. Do you have a certain method for writing jokes?
Dane Cook: Nope. I don’t really “write” at all. I just come up with ideas and improvise them out on stage. I like to be in the moment when I create.
What are your hobbies outside of comedy?
Dane Cook: I like to do photography. I am an avid video game connoisseur. I play guitar a lot. Rent movies. Take hikes. Sometimes I just roll around with my neighbor’s dog. Cooking Italian food and then eating it. Is this starting to sound like a personals ad?
You’re a big fan of pranks. What is the best practical joke you have pulled?
Dane Cook: The best ones I can’t really tell you. To be honest if I did tell you I might be arrested. Let’s just say that the reaction to one of them was my friend saying, “I AM GOING TO SUE YOU DANE!”
What are your tips for aspiring comedians?
Dane Cook: Yes just get on stage whenever you can. Know the first few years are tough. Very. There is no money in it for a long time. Make friends and start your own open mic nights so you can host and get onstage too. Oh and more than anything DO NOT STEAL JOKES. No one respects a hack.
Is there anything else you would like to add or comment on?
Dane Cook: Yes, please visit http://www.DANECOOK.com or I will cause a tornado to tear your house apart. Hmmm wait a minute that would be littering wouldn’t it. Crap.
For more info on Dane, please check out www.danecook.com to prevent littering.