This week, comedian and actor Dane Cook joined Uncut with Jay Cutler to talk about his life, comedy career, and new stand-up special. As of last year, the 50-year-old from Arlington, Massachusetts is back on stage once again. He took a break from stand-up for years, but is now reinvigorated with new material he’s releasing in a special that comes out October 5th.
Dane Cook’s new special, Above It All, is the culmination of a 30-year career in comedy with multiple ups and downs. The comedian started out in the Boston comedy scene in the early ’90s. But it took him a decade to find any traction with his comedy.
By the mid-2000s though, Cook became one of the biggest names in comedy. Drama surrounding the comedian led to him stepping away from the spotlight around 2010. But there’s no denying the force that was Dane Cook for a handful of years. In fact, Cook was an innovator within the comedy industry.
These days, it’s commonplace to follow your favorite comedians on social media and keep up with their careers. However, in the late 1990s/early 2000s, Dane became one of the first comedians to ever promote himself and his stand-up comedy with his own website along with having a strong social media presence. During his Uncut with Jay Cutler interview, our host spoke with Cook about utilizing the internet to boost his career.
Dane Cook Recalls Using MySpace, Starting DaneCook.com
Dane Cook’s comedy career started out in Boston, but he eventually made the move to Los Angeles and got into acting as well. Yet no one was calling him with any opportunities. So, he decided to take things into his own hands.
“Then I realized the only way I was ever going to break in, or break down that door, was to have my own data and analytics. And I did that through MySpace,” Cook recalled about the first global social media platform.
“Yea, you were one of the first ones to ever make their own [social media accounts for your comedy]. And then you did MySpace and then you did DaneCook.com,” Jay Cutler said.
The young comedian put all his money into promoting his career. Cook bet on himself when using his $35,000 life savings on the website. But it paid off fairly quickly even after others thought he was wasting his money.
“No one else was doing it, right?” Cutler asked Cook.
“No,” Cook answered on Uncut with Jay Cutler. “But I needed like a hub. That central place for fans to see content and be able to get in touch with me. But when I was on MySpace, I saw the first few hundred fans turn into doubling that number in a week doing these college gigs.”
The Comedian’s Gamble Started to Pay Off in Spades
As Dane Cook continued, he shared a story about his girlfriend at the time. She couldn’t understand why he spent so much time messing with his website and MySpace. Then she saw in real-time how big of a difference it was making to his career.
“She came into my office late at night and she goes, ‘What are you doing in here?’ And I literally was like, ‘Listen, see this page? I’m building an army.’ And she was like, ‘What? This is just some very tacky-lookin’ social media page.’ And I hit refresh, I saw 10 more people followed me. I was like, nobody realizes what I’m about to do here. So I had a blast, it was a lot of fun,” Dane Cook shared.
“I mean it’s genius. You were ahead of the curve on that,” Jay Cutler said.
“It was good though. It was like the Wild West, and it wasn’t as corporate … back then everything was very willy-nilly. I think the internet for like a good three or four-year period, it was just a bastion of hope and positivity. Then one person came into a comment section one day and was like, ‘F**k you.’ And then everybody else was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know I could do that too.’ You started getting heckled in the comment section at that point,” Dane said as he and Jay shared a laugh.
Our host talks to Dane Cook about that and much more on the newest episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler. Make sure to check out Cook’s new stand-up special, Above It All, on October 5th releasing on social media platform Moment. You can also watch our entire interview with Dane Cook in the video above, or tune in and listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.