When Cook was 3, he was attacked and almost killed by a German shepherd named Derrick. Beneath his hair is a zigzagging scar that became etched into his cranium after receiving nearly 80 stitches. Years later, during his interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 18, 2008, he said that he grew his hair out so that his mother did not have to see the stitches because the sight of them upset her.
Cook grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb in an Irish Catholic family. He is the second youngest of seven siblings; he has a younger sister, one older brother and four older sisters. He attended Arlington High School, where he starred in the school production of Grease. In high school, Cook was very introverted and to help break through his shell, he took up drama and eventually fell in love with improvisation and sketch comedy.
As a teenager, Cook became interested in comedy when his father, former radio personality George Cook, gave him a tape recorder and microphone. Later, he would learn what it meant to be a stand-up comedian. He was enthralled with comedians who were not afraid to sweat on stage—Richard Pryor and Robin Williams—and was equally taken by those like Steven Wright and Bob Newhart, who could ignite a crowd while standing in one place for an hour. Cook graduated in 1990 and began doing comedy that same year. Cook started comedy by being part of a three-man improv troupe called Al and the Monkeys with Robert Kelly and Al Del Bene. The troupe toured together for four years before disbanding. As he tells it, Cook's comedy did not grow from pain or a need to fill some emotional void, but for simply the fun of entertaining.
In 1995, Cook moved out of his parent’s basement to New York City and began performing in earnest. He also spent that time working the Comedy Club and College circuits. Two years later, he shuffled 3,000 miles west to Los Angeles, where he still lives today.
Cook's big comedy break came in 1998 when he appeared on Comedy Central's Premium Blend. This started a relationship between Cook and Comedy Central that has lasted many years. In 2000, Cook did a half-hour special on Comedy Central Presents. Since then his special has won the Comedy Central Stand-up showdown twice in a row.
In 2003, Cook released his first CD/DVD entitled Harmful If Swallowed. The success of the album landed him a record contract with Comedy Central Records. The album is certified platinum. He released his second CD/DVD in 2005, entitled Retaliation. This album went double platinum and made Cook the first comic in 29 years to have an album at #4 on the Billboard charts. This earned him a place alongside best-selling comedy vets Bill Cosby, George Carlin, and Steve Martin.
On April 15, 2005 Cook performed his first HBO Special entitled Vicious Circle filmed "in the round" at the TD Banknorth Garden. The same year Cook shot two pilot episodes for his own sitcom, Cooked. The sitcom never got picked up and the two pilot episodes were later released on DVD as the Lost Pilot Episodes. That same year he embarked on a 30-day 20-show college tour called Tourgasm with his long time friends Robert Kelly, Gary Gulman, and Jay Davis. The tour was filmed and was later made into a 9-episode documentary on HBO.
On December 3, 2005, Cook hosted Saturday Night Live. He performed the longest monologue in the show's history and it was one of the highest-rated SNLs of the season". He would then go on to host the premiere of season 32 of SNL a year later.
In 2006 Cook headlined for Dave Attell's Insomniac Tour and hosted the 2006 Teen Choice Awards alongside Jessica Simpson. The following year he won the award for Best Comedian. On November 12, Cook became the second comic to sell out Madison Square Garden. He did two sold out shows in one night. The show was filmed and would later be put onto a DVD to be sold on Cook's third comedy album.
Cook won the Big Entertainer Award at the VH1 Big in '06 Awards, and Rolling Stone magazine's Hot Comic of the Year.
On November 13, 2007, Cook released his third CD/DVD entitled Rough Around The Edges. The Album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart. During that time, he embarked on a tour of the same name. This was Cook's first arena tour.
On April 10, 2007, Cook broke The Laugh Factory endurance record (previously held by Richard Pryor) by performing on stage for 3 hours and 50 minutes. Dave Chappelle would break the record five days later. On January 1, 2008, Cook again broke the club's endurance record, by performing on stage for 7 hours.
From May 23, 2008 to May 25, 2008 Cook renuited with Robert Kelly and Al Del Bene for 3 shows at The Coliseum in Caesars Palace. Then, from May 29, 2008 to June 4, 2008, the Trio went to Iraq to perform for the troops. During all of these shows Bene was the Emcee, Kelly was the Feature, and Cook was the Headliner.
Cook is currently working on his fourth album, the last as part of his four record deal with Comedy Central Records, as well as plotting another Comedy Special and Tour.
Cook starred in his first leading role as the slacker boxboy Zach Bradley in Employee of the Month with Jessica Simpson and Dax Shepard. Following its release, the film became the #1 most requested movie on AOL. Despite the poor critical response, the film managed open to nearly $12 million in its opening weekend, debuting at #4 just behind Open Season.
Cook co-starred in his first dramatic role as the devious photographer Mr. Smith in Mr. Brooks along with Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, and William Hurt. The film debuted at #4 at the box office, just behind Shrek The Third. The movie grossed $10,017,067 in the opening weekend.
Cook starred as the dentist Charlie Logan in the release of Good Luck Chuck with Jessica Alba and Dan Fogler. Critics viewed the film unfavorably, but it went on to gross over $55,000,000 worldwide as of January 17, 2008. It debuted as the #1 comedy in the US that week (#2 overall, behind Resident Evil). The Good Luck Chuck DVD sold over 210,000 copies in its first day of release (January 15, 2008).
Cook co-starred as the cocky Mitch Burns in the release of Dan in Real Life along with Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche. The film grossed $$11,809,445 million in 1,921 theaters its opening weekend, ranking #2 at the box office, just behind Saw IV. As of December 26, 2007, it had grossed $46 million.
Cook starred as the air purifier call-center supervisor Tank Turner in the movie My Best Friend's Girl with Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, and Alec Baldwin. The film grossed $8.2 million and debuted at #3 at the box office, just behind Burn After Reading and got a 50-50 rating on fandango.com.
His routines focus on his childhood, and his plans for the future, such as his "dream home". He will sometimes deliver jokes in the form of over-the-top rants with increasingly erratic body motions, pacing, waving, and jumping.
He explains that:
Cook has also popularized what he calls the SUperFInger:
In 2005, Cook started his own company to produce his albums and videos, which he named SUperFInger Entertainment.
In 2005, on the message boards of comedy web site 'A Special Thing', C.K. posted a response to his fans who accused Cook of plagiarizing from him writing "Okay, this kid is stealing from me. And making lots of money. Three bits on one CD." Later, C.K. wrote "Just so you know, guys, I'm not going to do anything about this.... I'm not going to court over a bit called 'Itchy Asshole.' In an interview on the Free Beer & Hot Wings Morning Show in February 2007, C.K. stated that while the jokes are similar, the issue was "overblown" and may stem from a backlash against Cook's popularity. However, C.K. accused Cook of being "bullyish" and litigious towards comedians for having similar material to his despite Cook claiming elsewhere that comedians often have similar material and it is not a big issue to him. C.K. also stated "Too bad the guy [Cook] can't write enough." After pressure by the hosts for a statement, C.K. ended the interview by finally adding (possibly as a joke): "Fuck Dane Cook, he's a cunt.
Comedian Joe Rogan has spoken on many occasions about Cook performing a bit on an episode of Premium Blend that Rogan had developed on I'm Gonna Be Dead Someday (sketch titled "Tigers Fucking"), and claims to have performed the routine earlier in clubs with Cook present.
Jim Breuer talked about Dane Cook's reputation within the comedy industry, saying: "Everyone kills this guy... Not one comedian comes on (my Sirius radio show) and says `I'm so happy for him,' which is weird. ... They can't stand this poor guy." He went on to explain that a lot of comedians "are upset because they really feel this guy has snatched a lot of material".
Mark Breslin, the founder of the comedy club chain, quickly apologized and blamed the club's manager. Breslin stated in support of Cook, "I'm on Dane's side totally, 100 percent." Breslin also explained that Kelamis was the last show that evening and there was no reason he could not have gone on late, stating "the tradition is that stardom trumps everything".
In July of 2008, Dane Cook's landlord began legal proceedings to have him and his girlfriend evicted from their apartment building. The landlord had received numerous complaints from neighbors that Cook and his girlfriend were allowing their dog to defecate in the common areas of the complex without picking up after the animal. The landlord claims that several warnings to the couple apparently went ignored, and that the dog continues to defecate in the same areas without cleanup. Cook has since moved out of the apartment and recently purchased his first house in the Hollywood Hills after years of renting.
|US Hot 100||US Modern Rock||US Mainstream Rock||US Pop 100||UK Singles Chart||Germany|
|2006||"I'll Never Be You"||-||-||-||100||-||4||-|
|Simon Sez||Nick Miranda|
|Mystery Men||The Waffler|
|2003||Stuck on You||Officer Fraioli|
|Windy City Heat||Roman Polanski||TV Movie|
|2004||Mr. 3000||Sausage Mascot||Voice|
|2006||Employee of the Month||Zack Bradley|
|2007||Farce of the Penguins||Online Penguin||Voice|
|Mr. Brooks||Mr. Smith|
|Good Luck Chuck||Chuck/Charlie|
|Dan in Real Life||Mitch Burns|
|2008||Horton Hears a Who!||Johnny Smooth||Voice|
|My Best Friend's Girl||Tank|