Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dane Cook: The Kip Winger of Comedy

I could have chosen any other hair metal guy as an analogue for Dane Cook, but Kip Winger resembles him physically, right down to the stubble. In general, Dane Cook's pirouettes and mugging are downright identical to the ostentatious hair metal guitarists of the '80's.

The hair metal analogy does not stop at Cook's mannerisms. His jokes are pop metal.

Black Sabbath:Van Halen
Andrew Dice Clay:Dane Cook

Andrew Dice Clay, like Black Sabbath, influenced a generation of kids with his creepy, "in-your-face" style. Brett Gelman's Adolph Dice Hitler Clay character is not merely a zany, random mash-up. Dice's concerts really did sound like Nazi rallies and Clay often came off as a hatemonger.

Dane Cook is nowhere near as controversial, but like Dice and all the other shock comics from the comedy boom, his delivery is loud and abrasive. But Cook, like Halen, replaced the bile of his predecessors with riffs on time-honored dude topics like babes and parties.

At some point, Van Halen lost the popularity contest to Nirvana. And from the negative reviews of his HBO shows as well as many fans turning on him after he allegedly stole jokes from Louis CK, there might be a Kurt Cobain of comedy ready to dethrone the current mad king.
Perhaps Demetri Martin, with his recent deals with Dreamworks and Microsoft, will bring alternative comedy to the masses.

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