On Monday night, Dane Cook entranced the audience at the Orpheum theater with a stellar performance. Out in support of his new album entitled I Did My Best – Greatest Hits, it showcased a new style and some new hilarious material. Opening the show was Al Del Bene, a long time friend of Mr.Cook, whose down to earth, personal act was well accepted. The night ended with a musical piece involving some strange song mash ups, all in all it was a great night of hilarity.
The crowd entered the lavish halls of the mighty Orpheum Theater, buzzing with excitement. Merchandise flew off the tables, wads of cash changed hands, it was impressive for a comedian to sell t-shirts and ball caps so well. As we were lead down to the seats, the main opener was already on stage. His material was from the view of an average Joe, no over the top big funny, just well thought out jokes. The roar of laughter from the gallery was proof enough, this guy was great and well accepted.
With no pause into the main act, two screens came to life and started flying through imagery. Various images of people creating the Dane Cook invented hand gesture called the Su-Fi (super finger). A ominous voice started to hype up showgoers, depicting all the comedians past accomplishments, and pounding home the fact none of the fame would have be possible without the fans.
Dane took the stage in almost nervous fashion. He wasn’t on fire right out the gate, almost a little humble and showing signs of distraction. He stumbled through the first few jokes which were very funny, but poorly delivered. One piece had him bring up implanted gps tags for pets and how he wants to use this technology on his first born son. He took that thought one step further saying that the next step would be include a small explosive with the tracking implant. This way if at any time the child was unable to be located via gps, you could push a button and boom. “What baby rapist is going to steal a kid if he thinks he might be fucking a bomb?” giggled the Good Luck Chuck star. So very dark, and out of character, it was a pleasant surprise and the hearty guffaw from the hordes undeniably agreed with this.
After about five to ten minutes the early mental cloudiness was gone, and this mega star took the reigns of the show and galloped into the night. This was a new man, a new show and some well thought out material. It seems gone are the days of the over dramatic story teller, and a new star is born, that of true comedy. Cook started into many raunchy pieces, one in particular about his first time with a porn star. He explained how he wanted this woman over many years but the window of opportunity for them was just never open. One fateful evening when they were both single, they managed to get together. During this encounter they engaged in anal sex and he recounted how at this moment it was her that said the funniest thing he had ever heard. As he was pulling out from her ass, he realized he had pulled too far and nearly slipped out. She then turned and looked back over her should and said “Oops that almost went in my pussy”. Again the dirty side wasn’t alluding to anything, he spoke about it, raw, and without hesitation. It was well excepted and perfectly delivered.
Through out the show everything seemed to be a little bleak, the jokes about death and pain. During the night he explained he had recently ended a five year long relationship, that was like a “slow motion car crash”. He injected references throughout his set, about her and his interactions and the heavy heart he felt for their having to end things. This might be the catalyst for the change in styles. Regardless it all worked, he was contagiously funny and memorable.
Finishing the show up, Al Del Bene came on stage and joined Dane for a duet of sorts. The super star played acoustic guitar, displaying some solid skill, while the two sang. Some songs were comical little ditties, one in particular being a celebration song for a wedding. With the twist being the chorus reflecting on how happy will you be in ten years, reassuring the participants that the vagina will be boring by then. The last song of the night was a mash up of the Digital Underground’s Humpty Dance, but infused with Jack Johnson and Queens styles. The result was a gut busting compilation that had the audience in tears.
All in all the show was exactly what it needed to be, it was proof that Dane Cook could grow. He has evolved, and changed his presence. Taking from his personal anguish and building personality into the dialogue. Anyone out there thinking that this man is a one trick pony, should give their head a shake. Monday night was a testament to his ability to move to the next level.