T.J. Miller talks about his harsh criticism of Dane Cook

By | January 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm | 27 comments | feature slider, News | Tags: , ,

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.

About the Author

Jake Kroeger

Jake Kroeger has dedicated his life, for better or probably worse, to comedy. Starting and continually running the Comedy Bureau, a voice for LA comedy, by himself, he also writes and performs stand-up comedy in LA and watches more live comedy than is probably humanly tolerable. He's been a daily contributor to Punchline Magazine, now Laughspin.com because he loves and believes in comedy so much. Said of Kroeger, "...without his dangerously insane, unhealthy work ethic, certain comics would not have any press at all."

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  • WGAF

    TJ who? An unknown comic uses a much bigger name to get himself some press – why is anyone paying attention?

  • yeah ok

    does TJ think he’s absolutely awesome to be around? ask him, he really enjoys nothing more than talking about himself.

    • BOOM

      he is. And compared to Dane Cunt, I dont want to smash him in the face with a tire iron.

    • lawyer’d.

      where do you gather from ANYWHERE that TJ enjoys talking about himself? he pokes fun at himself all the time and is one of the least cocky comics i’ve ever seen. and yes, he is awesome to be around. it’s really hilarious what angry fans attempt to come up with to defend criticism. 

  • Fredbreakfast

    TJ’s complaint is not that he was bumped, it was that he killed the crowd for no good reason.

    I listened to the whole podcast, and TJ makes the point (which he makes a point of being solely his opinion) that the crowd PAID to be there, and they were for the most part paying attention to the show. TJ and all the other comedians who mentioned the poor showing that night were right to call Dane Cook out for that one specific set. It was not the crowd’s fault that he had a bad set, and to go and personally insult the crowd like that is wrong and unprofessional.

    Plenty of people do insults, hell Don Rickles made a legend of himself out of it, but what seperates the great insult comedians from people being shitheads on stage is that a) his exasperation makes him look hilarious in a self-deprcating or b) it’s all in good nature. Neither were the case for Dane Cook that night, and he deserved rightly to be criticized for it.

    Dane’s made a life of this, and regardless of what you think of him as a comedian the man does this for a living, and is an artform and he at the very least should respect by being kind to the people who make it possible to have such a career and prosper in it. He’s very lucky to be in the position that he is in, and that’s not a knock on his talent as a comedian, that’s just the nature of the business.

    I don’t think Dane should apologize to TJ or anything, nor vice versa. But Dane does have an audience to answer to…

  • http://twitter.com/joshhomer Josh Homer

    TJ is trying to back pedal on this one. The excuses he offers in the podcast are ridiculous. 

  • http://twitter.com/joshhomer Josh Homer

    TJ is trying to back pedal on this one. The excuses he offers in the podcast are ridiculous. 

  • http://twitter.com/joshhomer Josh Homer

    TJ is trying to back pedal on this one. The excuses he offers in the podcast are ridiculous. 

  • jonjean

    Tj Miller is way, way funnier than Dane Cook. 

  • jonjean

    Tj Miller is way, way funnier than Dane Cook. 

  • jonjean

    Tj Miller is way, way funnier than Dane Cook. 

  • jonjean

    Tj Miller is way, way funnier than Dane Cook. 

  • jonjean

    Tj Miller is way, way funnier than Dane Cook. 

  • jonjean

    Tj Miller is way, way funnier than Dane Cook. 

  • jonjean

    Tj Miller is way, way funnier than Dane Cook. 

  • Anonymous

    Meh, it’s one thing to bump people and work out new material, it’s another to be a total jagoff and just rant about stupid stuff. Which, you know, is Dane’s act anyway. But still. Comics are used to being bumped. If they complained I have to think there’s a reason. I trust TJ’s take more than Dane’s, thats for sure.

  • Steve

    Lots of comics insult the crowd.  Patrice did it all the time.  So did Hicks.  When did it become a rule that its not okay?  I guess when an uncool comic did it.

    • Nick

      In fairness, Patrice and Bill insulted the crowd in a funny way because they were great at crowd work. Dane Cook assaulted them with insults because he wasn’t doing well. TJ wasn’t just upset that he insulted the audience, he was upset that Dane didn’t care about them because he was getting payed to perform. That goes beyond the confidence of a successful comedian straight to being a total asshole.

      • Steve

        Hicks has had his fair share of bombing and laying insults on the crowd.  It happens.  You can’t be a good comic without having some passion about it and when you bomb it hurts so the anger can come out. 

      • Steve

        Hicks has had his fair share of bombing and laying insults on the crowd.  It happens.  You can’t be a good comic without having some passion about it and when you bomb it hurts so the anger can come out. 

      • Steve

        Hicks has had his fair share of bombing and laying insults on the crowd.  It happens.  You can’t be a good comic without having some passion about it and when you bomb it hurts so the anger can come out. 

      • Steve

        Hicks has had his fair share of bombing and laying insults on the crowd.  It happens.  You can’t be a good comic without having some passion about it and when you bomb it hurts so the anger can come out. 

      • Steve

        Hicks has had his fair share of bombing and laying insults on the crowd.  It happens.  You can’t be a good comic without having some passion about it and when you bomb it hurts so the anger can come out. 

      • Rick

        Dane didn’t get paid and TJ got bumped by Dane and had to wait to go up. It seems like he was agitated by that and mad that Dane was trying to re-find his groove after a year off stage and threw some insults at the crowd. I like them both, but sometimes, shit just happens.

    • Nick

      In fairness, Patrice and Bill insulted the crowd in a funny way because they were great at crowd work. Dane Cook assaulted them with insults because he wasn’t doing well. TJ wasn’t just upset that he insulted the audience, he was upset that Dane didn’t care about them because he was getting payed to perform. That goes beyond the confidence of a successful comedian straight to being a total asshole.

    • SploogeBucket

       Don Rickles?