Dane Jeffrey Cook is an American stand-up comedian and film actor. He has released five comedy albums: Harmful If Swallowed; Retaliation; Vicious Circle; Rough Around The Edge: Live From Madison Square Garden; and Isolated Incident. In 2006, Retaliation became the highest charting comedy album in 28 years and went platinum. Take a look below for 30 more awesome and interesting facts about Dane Cook.
1. Cook was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the second son of Donna Jean and George F. Cook.
2. He has an older half-brother, Darryl, and five sisters.
3. He grew up in a Catholic family of Irish descent.
4. Cook was raised in Arlington, Massachusetts, where he attended Arlington High School.
5. Cook has described himself as having been “pretty quiet, pretty introverted, shy” as a child, although he was a “wild child” at home.
6. He overcame his shyness in his junior year of high school, when he began acting and doing stand-up comedy.
7. After graduating from high school, he studied graphic design in college as a back-up plan, in case he did not achieve success in comedy.
8. He now designs all of his merchandise, including the cover of his album, Harmful If Swallowed.
9. In 1990, Cook began performing stand-up in comedy clubs.
10. In 1994, Cook moved to New York City and began performing. Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles, where he still lives today.
11. His big break came in 1998 when he appeared on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. 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.
12. In 2012, Cook caused a minor controversy when a joke he made in a comedy club about the 2012 Aurora shooting was recorded and made the headlines.
13. In September 2016 Cook headlined with Sebastian Maniscalco at the Oddball Comedy Festival in Dallas, Texas, and the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival in Irvine, California.
14. In May 2018 he performed at Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park, Ohio.
15. Cook began his film career with small roles in the late 1990s, including Mystery Men as “The Waffler”, and opposite Dennis Rodman in 1999’s Simon Sez.
16. In 2006, Cook starred in his first leading role as Zack Bradley in Employee of the Month, which co-starred Jessica Simpson and Dax Shepard. The film made a modest $30 million against a $12 million budget.
17. In September 2007, Cook starred as dentist Charlie Logan in Good Luck Chuck, which co-starred Jessica Alba and Dan Fogler. The film was the second-highest-grossing film (#1 Comedy) at the U.S. box office in its opening weekend, grossing $13.6 million in 2,612 theaters.
18. In 2013, Cook voiced the character of Dusty Crophopper in the animated film, Planes, a spin-off of Pixar’s Cars franchise. He reprised his role as Dusty in the 2014 sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue.
19. On November 18, 2010, it was announced that both Cook and Josh Hamilton would be starring in Neil LaBute’s 2011 Broadway production of Fat Pig. However, before the show began it was postponed for financial reasons.
20. His first TV role was playing a quarterback named Kyle on the 1995 ABC comedy Maybe This Time, which starred Marie Osmond, Betty White and Ashley Johnson.
21. In October 2005, during an interview with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, actress Charlize Theron leaned forward and allowed Cook to kiss her backside.
22. Cook’s style is principally “long-form storytelling” and “multipurpose phrases”. Cook says his onstage persona is a combination of the personalities of his mom, Donna, and his dad, George. “My mother is like a Looney Tunes cartoon. She’s wiggly … She has the ability to tongue in cheek a lot, and do it in a way where she’s being physical. My dad is the polar opposite. He always had a little ‘what the fuck’ in his voice. Even if he knew nothing about what he was talking about, he could sell it. So I looked at these two extremely funny people and created a style of comedy from absorbing their actions.”
23. In 2007, a “veteran comic” accused Cook of appropriating one of that comic’s “very physical routines”, despite a direct request that Cook stop using the routine in question.
24. There was also widespread Internet discussion regarding 3 bits from Cook’s 2005 album Retaliation, and similar bits from comic Louis C.K.’s 2001 album Live in Houston.
25. In 2011, Cook played himself in an episode of Louie, scripted by C.K., centering on a fictional encounter between the two comics during which they discuss the controversy.
26. In an interview in 2012, Louis C.K. defended Cook, saying “I don’t think he stole from me knowingly… I think he sort of got some of my jokes in his head and got sloppy. He’s a good guy and not capable of maleficence.”
27. Cook has stated that he does not drink or take drugs.
28. Cook’s half-brother Darryl was his business manager until 2008, when it was discovered that Darryl and his wife had embezzled millions of dollars from Cook.
29. Both were convicted and sentenced to prison for the embezzlement.
30. In 2017, Cook began dating Kelsi Taylor, who is 26 years his junior.