Dane Cook is a silly bitch. During our interview, the nationally acclaimed comedian launches into a routine about making up a song to the "tune" of a car alarm.
"Yeah, I really did that one night in my apartment," Cook says, laughing. "At first I was mad, and then I was singing.
"Silly bitch? Guilty!"
Cook's bombastic mentality fuels his second comedy album, the two-disc, one-DVD monster that is Retaliation. On the cover, Cook wields a sword-turned-mic, one red cyborgian eye gleaming.
"Thematically, I wanted everything to be over-the-top -- the title, content, imagery, everything," he says. "This is my sophomore album. This is my The Empire Strikes Back. I'm not trying to outdo myself; I'm trying to be creatively consistent."
It's here, discussing his career, that Cook becomes deadly serious. His first CD, Harmful When Swallowed, was great, but Cook's since learned a few tricks.
"I'm so much better at painting a verbal picture, using my vernacular to make it come to life," he says. "You loved Harmful? You have no idea what I can do now. I've upgraded my system. I'm not fucking around here. I'm not here to be 'kind of funny.' I want to be one of the best."
So, in the vein of dominant Star Wars sequels, will the next album be the comedic equivalent of an Ewok? Cook loves the idea: "Yeah! Maybe something light and fluffy. Maybe me with a pottery wheel, or wearing a turtleneck."
Cook's determination to be one of comedy's best and brightest comes with its own rewards, like movies and TV shows. He describes his own TV pilot, a show called "Cooked," as being akin to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Cook might be just one of the guys if he wasn't comedy's tasty centerfold, with more than 285,000 friends on myspace.com. Onstage, he twists and propels himself, an insane and gaspingly funny madman who just happens to get rock-star treatment.
"It's wild," he says. "I almost used to deny that, or push that away, because I'm a comic, and comedy's so different. But I'm doing 5,000- to 10,000-seat stadiums, and, frankly, that is the reaction I get. They're going banana sandwich as soon as I hit the stage. It is happening. I met Steve Martin. He used to sell out Madison Garden. Pryor, Carlin, Dice -- they were all rock-star comics."
Though Cook claims never to have touched drugs or alcohol, he still experiences plenty of the rock-star lifestyle -- good and bad.
"There were things about comedy that I never would've even ventured to guess, but there are freaks and stalkers, men and women who actually believe what you say is absolutely serious. It freaks you out a little bit," he says.
And Cook's looks and energy have helped him amass quite a female following.
"Where were these girls when I was in high school?" he asks. "But, they always say comedy is an aphrodisiac and ... it's true. Guilty!"
-- Kara Luger
Colorado Convention Center Lecture Hall
700 14th St., Denver
Friday, Oct. 7, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $24.50 to $44.50; on sale Tuesday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m. at 520-9090 or ticketmaster.com.
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