Dane CookNov. 13, Verizon Arena
If you didn’t know that the core of Dane Cook fans reside within the teenage and college student sectors, 4,014 of made their presence felt last Friday, by arriving well past the designated start time, constipating the beer lines and talking louder and faster than all three of the evening’s performers combined.
Cook’s act is built on observational and narrative humor, a common and successful approach. But the intensity of his machine-gun delivery may be best left to the likes of Robin Williams, as Cook’s punchlines didn’t always arrive full circle or seem resolved before he delved into the next topic. A key component of comedy lies in the transitions between ideas and stories, how they connect. With few exceptions, Cook’s anecdotes were forced into a series of streamlined tales delivered via a one-hour run-on sentence.
Still Cook has an undeniable charm. With material rooted in experiences probably familiar, or at least relatable, to most of us, he does well to find humor in life’s small tragedies. Like when he talked about standing before a urinal, with cell phone between shoulder and ear, only to lose it to gravity and endure a drop of urine to the retina.
Following warm-up comics Robert Kelly and Al Del Bene, a group we’ll call the Barely Legal Brigade often drowned out Cook’s verbal assault routine with cries of “Take your shirt off, Dane!” executed in drill-team fashion. This yappy crew didn’t put the muzzle on until a disturbed attendee sent fair warning: “You dizzy bitches either kindly hit the mute button or I’ll have your heads in a f***ing bowling bag.” So moved and grateful for the gesture and its poetic delivery, I bought him a beer.
A safe bet attributes the smaller turnout to ticket price range and a target market less likely to have an extra 60 to 100 disposable clams, especially during holiday season. But the faithful went home happy nonetheless.