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danecookOriginally Published December 5, 2010

Last month, comedian DANE COOK hit the road for an arena tour (which wrapped up last night in Reno) in support of his new double-disc set, I DID MY BEST – GREATEST HITS. Having sold millions of albums over the past seven years since his debut with HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED, it’s actually hard to believe that Cook has only released five proper full-length records. Along with numerous specials, the HBO series TOURGASM, and building a hefty acting resume that spans over a decade’s worth of work, it seems the general public might have hit “Dane overload” a couple of years ago. Although he’s been working steadily, it almost seemed that his comedic spotlight had shut off, and there’s a lot of people that probably appreciated that – because you either really dig Dane Cook, or you really loathe Dane Cook.

I’ve always dug Dane Cook, and for that, even I have attracted some “Haters,” that which Cook himself tackles on a track of the same name pulled from his last album, ISOLATED INCIDENT.

If you’ve never enjoyed Cook’s work, I DID MY BEST will do nothing to win you over. What we have here is a collection of tracks pieced together from his prior works, along with some untitled bonus bits tacked onto Disc 2. Presented together, the collection plays as a reminder to those that were already fans of why they dug Dane to begin with. It’s an overview of a career that’s great for someone that perhaps enjoyed his TV specials but never bought an album – or a piece for completists looking to add some new tracks to their collection.

Many of the “haters” have attacked Cook for not really telling “jokes,” but for acting as more of a storyteller instead. In that they’re right, as Dane Cook is much more of a raconteur than a “comedian” by definition. He tells stories and anecdotes that are funny (if you like ’em) without relying on a “punchline,” and that’s ok. The bottom line is that you’re either entertained or you’re not, and if Cook really did his best, then that’s fine by me.

Tell me that “Not So Kool-Aid” isn’t just as funny now as it was the first time around. I don’t like “drinks in tights” either.

4 out of 5 Stars

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