If you’ve been following the TMZ-ish look into stand-up comedy recently, you’ll know that comedians TJ Miller called out Dane Cook in a Twitter rant about his drop in set at the Hollywood Laugh Factory for being unnecessarily mean and grotesque on stage. Cook told Laughspin exclusively, “I’ve always felt that comedians can’t be critics,” Cook added, referencing the fact that so many fellow comics had things to say. “They can be critical onstage, but it’s impossible to be both an artist and a critic.”
And more recently, Cook appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast, the Ice House Chronicles; comedians Ari Shaffir and Bert Kreischer were guests, as well. Through their discussion, Cook repeatedly emphasized that Miller broke “the comic code” by tweeting about his set and how mean he was, which was one of the first times Cook has taken stage in over a year.
As a response to that claim of breaking “code” Miller has responded yesterday on comedian Pete Holmes’ podcast You Made It Weird. He acknowledges that he got overly angry. Miller also realizes that Twitter perhaps wasn’t the right forum to voice his concerns, which were not about the content of Dane Cook’s new material, but the fact that he made a paying audience feel terrible, since, Miller says, Cook individually insulting some audience members.
Valid points are made on both ends, despite the fans of both Dane and T.J. getting overly hyped in tweeting such remarks as “Yeah, fuck Dane Cook” or “Suck a dick, T.J.” Comedians should be able to work through their material, which sometimes involves over-indulging in hubris. And paying audiences don’t deserve to be meant to feel bad. Let’s hope this is the end of the dispute and, more importantly, the end of pointing out reasons why people shouldn’t want to go see live comedy this year.