Comedian Dane Cook has attempted to make people laugh for years. Now, he has done the unthinkable. No, he didn’t make someone laugh. He told a joke in bad taste in connection to the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado that occurred during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
When everyone from the likes of actor Christian Bale, and Music Composer Hans Zimmer have gone out of their way to do charitable work to ease the pain and suffering of the victims, Dane Cook took to the stage at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles on Thursday evening to add insult to injury. Caught on tape by an audience member who was committing one of the cardinal comedy-show sins — taping a comedian’s set without permission — Cook joked that:
“The Dark Knight Rises” is such a bad movie that ” … if none of that would have happened, I’m pretty sure that somebody in that theater, about 25 minutes in, realizing it was a piece of crap, was probably like, ‘Ugh, f*@$ing shoot me.’”
Usually a comedian asks permission to try out new material with an audience if the topic might be deemed too sensitive or controversial. Cook didn’t do this, but the joke did lead to a few groans followed by laughter and then applause. Yes, it is too soon to try out this material. There are sensitivity issues that will be in place for a long time. But on the other hand, there is the right to freedom of speech.
Dane Cook won’t be the last “comic” to offend someone, but telling a joke is all about the timing. I know this relates to delivery, but in this case it also refers to the material. Cook’s choice of topics like his acting were off.
Here is a list of other comics who have sat in the hot seat for their brand of humor.
Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Tracy Morgan, Michael Richards, Daniel Tosh, Amy Schumer, Roseanne Barr, Jackie Mason, Ricky Gervais, Carlos Mencia, Sandra Bernhard, Kathy Griffin, Chris Rock, Gilbert Gottfried, and Richard Pryor.
To casually sum this up, there was one person who was grateful for Cook’s faux pas, and that would be Fred Willard. This causes me to wonder if Cook will be appearing on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” anytime soon.
UPDATE: Dane Cook has posted an apology for the Aurora-related material he performed on Thursday. Via Twitter, the comedian stated: “I am devastated by the recent tragedy in Colorado & did not mean to make light of what happened. I made a bad judgment call with my material last night & regret making a joke at such a sensitive time. My heart goes out to all of the families & friends of the victims.”