I too freely admit that I'm an idiot (see the previous post). I also freely admit that the Zman is an idiot. But unlike the Zman, when I don't understand something, I'm willing to do a little research. Very little research. This is often worse than just admitting you are an idiot. So now I know that circumcision may have started in Egypt to "cut your son down to size." Or maybe it was to sacrifice the foreskin to some perverse god. Or maybe not. But I still haven't looked up how a telegraph works, because I'm pretty clear on that one (I could be wrong). So when I recently learned that lots of people that HATE Dane Cook-- new information for me-- I did a little research. Here is my story.
The other day in the office, the very funny but slightly obsessive guy who always calls into radio stations and wins concert tickets every week and then sells them and uses the money to buy authentic Battlestar Galactica paraphernalia on eBay (you have a guy like this in your work place, right?) said he had a pair of Dane Cook tickets to sell. When I expressed interest because my wife and I both think Dane Cook is funny, I took some flak for liking Dane Cook-- apparently people who think they are hip don't like Dane Cook. They think he is "obvious" and "just in it for the attention" and "not very clever" and since I wasn't all that familiar with him, I had just heard some of his famous bits (car alarm, Kool-Aid guy, public restrooms, etc.) I did some research and listened to his new album (Isolated Incident) and his takes on race, suicide, masturbation, porn, and Obama all made me laugh, so maybe I am obvious, not very clever, and just in it for the attention as well.
Then I did some perfunctory Googling, and I'll tell you what: there are a LOT of people that hate Dane Cook. They think he's a "frat-boy douche-bag." They think he steals jokes. They think other comedians hate him. There's a lot of analysis on exactly why he sucks. But I like him. He's not George Carlin or Richard Pryor or Bill Cosby, but who is? He's energetic and funny and covers a wide variety of material and really works the crowd. He's a pro. And when it comes to A-list comics, I will admit it, I am easy. I am looking to laugh, and-- whether it's Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Patrice O'Neil, Jim Norton, Steven Wright, Jerry Seinfeld, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Chappelle or even Sinbad-- they will get me to laugh. You've got to be pretty bad to not get me to laugh, Paula Poundstone bad, or Gallagher bad (plus, I was taught never to waste food . . . that's not funny).
I suppose Dane Cook is analogous to the New York Yankees because of his fame and success, except that when a comedian is good, everybody wins, because everybody laughs. It's not a zero sum game, so why root against him? Why be a player-hater? I suppose cool to say he rips off Louis CK, and maybe he does, but Louis CK is kind of dry for me. He's funny, as I said, I'm easy, but he kind of sounds like how I would sound if I were a stand-up comedian, which I've thought about . . . because everyone has thought about being a stand-up comedian, right? Or at least everyone who has ever told a joke. But it's not so easy. I started writing some material for my stand-up tour, but I took a hard look at it, and I don't think it's very good. In fact, I think it is quite awful. So, before you go hating Dane Cook, try writing some of your own comedy. You might end up with a list like this . . . you might end up with the true purpose of this post.
You might end up with a Top Ten List of Failed Comedy Routines. I've occasionally tried these out on real people, and I have come to the conclusion that I will never be a stand-up comedian like Dane Cook. Or even like Jeff Foxworthy. Without further ado, here they are. Read at your own risk.
1) What is up with anal fissures? Your crack has a crack? How can a crack crack?
2) The first thing on my "to do list" is to complete my to do list.
3) You know those people who stick their fingers down their pants and rub around their testicles and then smell their hand? No? Really? Forget it then.
4) You've got dogs and you've got cats. Some people like dogs and some people like cats. The people who like dogs are dog-people. The people who like cats are cat-people. You know what I'm saying, pussy?
5) Once, when I was banging my wife, I started thinking about my grandfather . . . naked. And, oddly, my penis didn't deflate. Does that mean anything? I asked my therapist this question, and she said, "I don't think I can work with you any longer. Here's a prescription."
6) When you're at a party, and someone starts talking to you about the weather, it means they are really really stoned.
7) Are there any good bands with a color in their name? Maroon 5? Green Day? The Moody Blues? Deep Purple?
8) The other day, when I was looking for my keys-- you know how you're always losing your keys-- so I'm looking for my keys and I open the closet to see if they're in my jacket pocket, and I remember that I locked my four year old in that closet the night before because he wouldn't stop whining about his dinner . . . good thing I lost my keys, or I never would have let him out of there.
9) So after you sodomize someone in a park bathroom, what do you say to them? Before you tell them you have AIDS, I mean.
10) So what's up with the . . . (insert ethnicity here).