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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dane Cook interview excerpt

I spoke to everybody's favourite Dane Cook this morning. He's a morning guy, calling me at 7:45. I'm not. But that's okay. I was told we'd speak for 10-15 minutes. That's good to know ahead of time because I need to know how to pace the conversation. I've got to hit on all the important questions and move on from them quickly. The important questions include some basic information questions a writer needs for the story, as well as bigger questions. So it's a tight dance.

However, we spoke for 28 minutes. Still not a lot of time. This is a new thing for Cook. He only recently started talking to the press. So his answers weren't as spontaneous as they could be. But at least he gave well thought-out responses. The thing was, they were also fairly long. And with my time constraint, there was no room for a deeper discussion on any one topic. And the story had to be more of a general news story as it was for the Province. You can read it here.

I'd love to get him on my radio show, where he (and I) could relax and really get into some depth over the course of an hour. So Dane, if you're out there... Hey, I can wish.

In one part, you'll hear him chastise me gently. We had been talking about when I first saw him live. It was part of the first ever Just For Laughs tour and was at Richard's on Richards, a local rock club. He guessed that was ten years ago. Sounds about right. I mentioned that I thought his style then was similar to the way it is now, and I was wondering if it was always that way. By that point, remember, he was already ten years into his career. He basically told me to do my homework. But in his response, he seemed to be talking about the subjects he covers. I didn't catch it at the time, and anyway had to move on to other topics. But I meant more his delivery and style. (I think I'm right!)

There has been some skepticism, I've read, about Cook's age. I never talked to him about it, but looking at it now, something doesn't add up. His Wikipedia entry says he was born in March of 1972, making him 37. He said he started doing stand-up at the age of 19, but he also says he's been doing it for twenty years. Does that make him 39 or is he counting earlier years of amateur comedy? Then, when discussing his opening act, Al Del Bene, he says they've known each other since they were both 14 in junior high school. Then he says they're still together 26-27 years later. Hmm, 14 plus 26 is 40. Hey, Wikipedia isn't always right, I know.

Anyway, here's another crudely edited 9.5-minute excerpt for you. Cook talks about his new relationship with the press, the evolution of his act, the backlash to his career, his reaction to being booted off the stage at the Yuk Yuk's here in 2006, charges of plagiarism leveled against him, and his inner drive. Yes, I know my levels are higher than his. That's just the way my recorder works and I don't know how to fix it:

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