Dane Cook is a walking on the ice, change the game kind of guy. Let’s please not forget that. Back in Myspace days he took the folks of Myspacetown on a wild ride and gave the world a glimpse of The New World of Comedy. (Quick plug for my new doc series. Sorry.) Seriously, Dane Cook was and is a stand-up pioneer. Now he’s portaging again through fresh new trails, posting up his great new special on Moment, a platform for content creators to release their own work.
THE NEW WAY
This is now officially the way of the day and the future to come in a big way. This is where stand-up is going. The next level. HBO took it from Showtime, Netflix beat it away from HBO with a giant wallet. Now smart thinking comics with half a brain are realizing what Bill Burr said to me three years ago ‘a Netflix special isn’t special anymore’ and with their new commitment to pay comics way, way, less, and the ability for comics to self release on the level of what Dane Cook is doing, and what Andrew Shultz has done, selling their own specials direct to consumer, that may turn out to be their version of turning over the keys to the kingdom.
Add that in with the serious amount of views comics like Mark Normand and Shultz and so many others have gotten on YouTube and Roku and several other platforms, it doesn’t make sense for a comic to sell themselves for pennies on the dollars to Netlix, or to Showtime, or anyone for that matter. Dane has taken a page from this and tacked into the skid. He’s made a fantastic special with a long-time creative favorite of his, the legendary director, Marty Callner. He shot the damn thing in his backyard. Just turned the backyard of his Hollywood home. (Sorry Hollywood mansion) into a stage for a stand-up special.
It’s actually a really great idea. A guy just telling jokes on his front porch. How back to basics is that? It doesn’t matter that the front porch is like a thirty million dollar estate, what matters is the guy is happy to have his friends over to listen to him jaw.
Marty Callner did awesome work as always. He’s a true artist. Truth be told it’s not my style personally for a stand-up special to use cranes and swoop as much as this special does. I have a gut preference that the camera work for stand-up should be as simple as hell and pretty much stay the hell out of the way. That’s me. Marty happens to be the master of this style used here and it does give the show spectacle which it may need considering it’s just a guy on a porch, no matter how hoity toity the porch is.
It’s a beautiful looking special. Crisp, perfectly lit and moves like a race car. The sum total of it is a piece that’s big and game changing and at the same time small, acoustic, sentimental, and revealing. It’s quite a feat.
I happen to love story telling in stand-up. Robert Klein was one of my idols growing up and was a wonderful story-teller. Chappelle tells great stories. Pryor told a great tale. Sara Silverman has become a first class story-teller. Dane has plopped down on the shelf with all of these comics and showed that he more than belongs. This is a turning point special. You have to understand, he OPENS with a fifteen minute or so story. And it kills. It’s so good. I loved it. It’s a true story and I won’t say much. Just go buy this special and watch it. He follows that with stories about his life, and his fiance.
A 30 SECOND LAPSE
My favorite part of the special though is another really long tale of Dane in his early career having a moment where he wanted to quit stand-up. A moment he claims was singular. One thirty second lapse in belief that he was destined to do this. It’s one of my favorite stand-up pieces ever. I adored it. It’s wild and you don’t know where it’s going and it shows, to me, stand-ups great potential to entertain and more. The story in it’s journey is raucous, sad, inspiring, goofy, silly, and heartbreaking, and finally is everything that needs to be said about what it takes to believe in yourself. It’s truly a magic trick. The special is worth the price of admission for just seeing this piece.
The moment is a platform where artists can sell their wares directly to their fans. It’s their moment. Right now. This is a window opening to the future. This will be how it’s done for so many things. Stand-up, music, series, films, everything. It may very well be a streaming killer one day. We all may very well just buy the items we want rather than pay for the 10,000 shows we don’t want and the executives salaries we don’t need to pay. If you’re someone who has Netflix, HBO, Showtime, etc, you could buy a dozen specials a year, a dozen movies, and and a dozen tv series and still be in the realm of all you’ve spent on the streamers you’re signed up for.
It would also be a better group of shows, series, and specials for you. It would be exactly what you want. And you may just have Dane Cook to thank for helping usher it all in because the game is now on.
Go buy his special. You won’t be sorry. This one is special.
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