Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In comedy, everyone’s a critic

Editor's note: Tim here. I wanted to personally welcome back Dan Segraves to the world of Inscaped. Back in the day, Dan and I did a show called "Viewpoints On..." As part of the growth of Inscaped as a brand we'll be adding more contributors and editors along with new projects. More on that later. And here's Dan:

TJ Miller is an eccentric stand up comic and, as he puts it, “the most famous talking bear movie actor in history.” He was tragically a part of the 3-D "Yogi Bear" movie recently. Comedy lore tells that he rented a live bear for his audition for the movie, that he has since confirmed.

Dane Cook is the darling of college frat boys and their brain dead girlfriends everywhere. He has made a career out of being seedy and pretentious. He’s also made a name for himself by having a league of “bros” behind him so that when makes offenses (such as stealing material or bombing), they will help him get sympathy.

Miller was a part of a comedy show at the Los Angeles Laugh Factory Jan. 18. Unknown to anyone, however, Cook dropped in to do some work.

The issue of the night began when Cook took the stage. From several recounts, Cook berated the crowd to a ridiculous extent. "On the You Made It Weird" podcast, Miller mentioned that Cook made fun of a balding man, said women will do anything for him because he is Dane Cook, talked about “fucking whores” to get out anger towards his girlfriend and told a women to stop texting because “Dane Cook’s on stage."

For non-comedy fans, this is quite common, especially when you’re at a club that someone considers a “home base” as Cook considers the Laugh Factory. comedians are always that they could get “bumped,” and learn to accept it early on. Miller knows this. Miller did, however, take offense to Cook ruining a crowd that paid to be entertained, not insulted.

Word is that Miller did a good job of cleaning up Cook’s mess. Remember Seth Rogen’s character in "Funny People" after Adam Sandler’s character had a dark, downing set? Imagine that.

This wouldn’t be the first time a comedian insulted a crowd, either. Don Rickles and Andrew Dice Clay made careers off of material like Cook performed. Today, Jeff Ross is known as “The Roastmaster” and Daniel Tosh insults the public on a large level on "Tosh.0" on Comedy Central.

Miller’s argument was more of a professional one than being bumped or Cook doing insult comedy. The crowd paid to see TJ and other “alternative” comedians do your usual comedy. They didn’t pay or ask to see Cook degrade them. If Cook wanted to drop in, he could’ve had the courtesy to the up-and-coming comedians to NOT make the audience feel like shit.

Cook’s reaction to this is that Miller is a “mutant and a dummy,” as he told Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Podcast. Cook thinks that Miller is a “comedy cop” who “let TMZ in on me constructing.”

What’s worse is that Cook’s reaction to Miller completely missed the real points. Cook decided that Miller was mad for being bumped (again, something that everyone understands happens). Instead, Cook said that Miller should’ve have relaxed and “learned something,” a staple of pompous asshole narcissism.

To add to Cook’s miscomprehension and egotistical reaction, comedian Ari Scheffler eloquently called Miller’s complaint a gay slur (won't repeat it here). Classy.

Rogan, Scheffler and Cook agreed on the podcast that Miller was really upset about being bumped, ignoring his actual argument for common courtesy. It would also be the reason that guys like Cook and Rogan had leveled out as has-beens and sport commentators (Dennis Miller, anyone?) and Louis CK and Miller are today and tomorrow’s comedy heavy hitters.

Just like his frat boy fans and his failed comedy friends, Cook is primed to learn that when you get out of your self-adulating haze, reality can be a real bitch.

Hear both comedians sides in the archives of “You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes” and “The Joe Rogan Podcast.”

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