Aurora theater shooting joke makes Dane Cook first stand-up to play the tragedy for laughs

dane cook laugh factory.jpg
Audio below.
As we noted in our collection of James Holmes memes, bad-taste attempts to mine chuckles from the Aurora theater shooting have been proliferating on the fringes of the Internet. But last week, Dane Cook, one of the country's best-known stand-up comedians, waded into this territory, too, via an on-stage joke that struck a false note with plenty of people beyond his immediate audience. Hear it below, and see a sampling of the Twitter backlash.

During a gig at the The Laugh Factory, a Los Angeles comedy club, as reported in the Entertainment Weekly post linked above, Cook said, "So I heard that the guy came into the theater about 25 minutes into the movie. And I don't know if you've seen the movie, but the movie is pretty much a piece of crap.... Yeah, spoiler alert. And I know that if none of that would have happened, I'm pretty sure that somebody in that theater, about 25 minutes in, realizing it was a piece of crap, probably was like, 'Ugh fucking shoot me.'"

Granted, some people at the Laugh Factory tittered, while others reacted more negatively -- and the latter response was amplified once word of the gag began to circulate. That prompted Cook to tweet the following statement:

I am devastated by the recent tragedy in Colorado & did not mean to make light of what happened. I made a bad judgment call with my material last night & regret making a joke at such a sensitive time. My heart goes out to all of the families & friends of the victims.

His mea culpa didn't win over this particular Twitter user:

Cook did get support from fellow stand-up Josh Homer....

...but this tweet from New Hampshire radio figure Steve Boucher is more typical.

At one point, Cook seemed primed for mega-stardom. But that window no longer is as open as it once was -- and with this one failed attempt at humor, he may have slammed it down on his own fingers once and for all. Listen to the bit here.

More from our Tech archive: "James Holmes Facebook tribute pages: Should person behind largest be sterilized?"

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35 comments
anon
anon

How ironic that the funniest joke he has probably ever made is the one people are in uproar about. still, it wasn't even that funny. Most of the image macros are better than his joke.

Paul Vincent Saurini
Paul Vincent Saurini

Michael Richards is no example at all. Joking is joking. Standing on stage and screaming insults is different. Furthermore he was attacking and not joking. Screaming at someone that they are an n-word is no laughing matter. That was not a 'joke' but just a horrible breakdown and personal attack.

Paul Vincent Saurini
Paul Vincent Saurini

I didn't say to be happy about it. My opinion is that life is a big fucking bitch. So therefore, laugh at that whore! it's better than being angry. Find perspective. My point is, my cousin could be in hell about his kids being murdered, I am sure he is, but he still sees the value of humor. If it's tasteless I agree in principle that it's wrong, but all he has to do is say he's sorry and mean it. A joke is a joke. Mass murder is mass murder. A joke about mass murder may be tasteless, but it's a joke. I can almost deal with any tasteless joke. I can't deal with the mass murder. Totally different. Fuck that bitch, Life!!! Laugh at her!

Kyle Geoghegan
Kyle Geoghegan

You all are hillarious. Get over it, find something worthwhile to be angry about.

Sandra Aycock
Sandra Aycock

Yep hes a jackass and i do believe there was a funeral the day he said it so i stand by my statement and am no longer an at a distance fan but a loather of dane now

Debbie Byers Phillips
Debbie Byers Phillips

Would a joke about the victims of 911 be funny today...? NO! Dane Cook is an idiot...never liked him. Would he have been joking had he known one of the victims? He is out of line!

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Its barely been a fucking week. I knew he wasn't funny before, but if he has to run to that like he's desperate for material... then he's definitely not funny. He always was and always will be an annoying douchebag.

Victor Carrillo
Victor Carrillo

Virgil I'm a father family man, You could not be anymore off judging me, You are just seeking debate you dumb loser, I work for Bodyguard protection security services, watch over Politicians, Athletes, Famous in town actors, etc....So keep your dumb Fucking off profiling to yourself and kiss dane cooks ass and that shooter...

Terin Blake
Terin Blake

Wasn't the Tosh rape debacle enough of a discussion about what one "can" make jokes about? I think Louis CK summed it up perfectly: jokes about rape culture are funny, like Wanda Sykes; jokes about people personally being raped aren't so funny. I think the same is applicable to the culture of senseless violence.

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

@ Victor Carrillo: Notice the part where I said that Dane Cook was NOT funny. Neither did I refer to you as a thug but rather WANNABE thug based upon your faux mug: the goatee, the cheap shades, and the silly custom cap to "represent ya hood." Reading comprehension fail. Frankly, if I am ever grieving for the lost of loved ones, some third-rate comic making lame jokes would be the LEAST of my worries nor would I be wasting time on FaRcebook posting about my own self-contradicting sense of morality. I'd be far more concerned about (and truly offended by) local or national media attempting to pry into my private life and that of lost loved ones. Mind you, the equivalent of 2.5 "Auroras" occurs on a daily basis in this country due to gun violence. Comics make light of gang-related or drug-related violence regularly in their acts; yet, I do not once see any of the moral brigadeers bashing these same comics for "making humor at expense of tragedy" as they do when someone even remotely alludes to larger-scale atrocities. Hypocrites. Obviously, some of us have thicker skins than others. Have a Kleenex, Vic.

Luciano Lucky Torres
Luciano Lucky Torres

I don't care for Dane Cook. He should of left this so called joke out of his act!!

Tracy Strode
Tracy Strode

Dane Cook, unfunny?? STOP THE PRESSES!!!

Victor Carrillo
Victor Carrillo

Again it won't hit home until it's your wife mother poor child Virgil....I'm not a thug just a person with care emotion and not heartless pal..so suck dane cooks dick

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

" Look what happened to Micheal Richards.." Except Michael Richards wasn't making a joke when he went on his infamous rant. Dane Cook is one of the lamest comedians out there -- if not the lamest. With that said, I still take the position that there are no sacred cows in comedy. He has the right to free speech; his detractors have the right to criticize him. I have the right to ridicule the reactionaries. It's a never ending cycle of bullshit, except only the butthurt reactionaries are crying. Of course, you have the wanna-be thugs like Victor Carrillo who think they have some "right" to use threats of physical violence to enforce certain socially acceptable norms. You don't like it? Don't tune in. Don't go to the shows. Go hide and sulk yourself in a corner elsewhere.

Victor Carrillo
Victor Carrillo

Everyone above who said it was not bad that dane dumb ass cook dropped that joke go fuck yourself!!!...And if my child was killed and I was in a crowd and heard some Shit Like that I would jump the fuck up and ring his neck..in reference to guy above who's cousins kids were killed...let's see how you react if a joke was made about your slaughtered children

Kaitlin Herrera
Kaitlin Herrera

This is not a debate over whether or not he has the freedom to say what he wants. He can say whatever he chooses. But, with freedom of speech, comes my right to call him a douche waffle.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Micheal, there is a serious problem when the DP scoops you on trash such as this!

Larry Rios
Larry Rios

Dane Cook has never been funny, and he would not be a blip on the radar if it wasn't for Myspace... And I think he should go the same direction as that

Paul Vincent Saurini
Paul Vincent Saurini

Dane Cook is funny. Comedians run into stuff like this. I TOTALLY forgive him. It happens. I HATE those who degrade and destroy. So, he made a mistake. Those who want his downfall for a simple mistake deserve the same level of intolerance for everything they do. I say, THANK YOU FOR THE LAUGHS, DANE COOK! I prefer a tasteless joke to a crybaby. My cousin had his THREE CHILDREN MURDERED. He doesn't jump up during comic shows and tell them not to make jokes about killing kids. I've literally seen it. Here's the advice of a man who LOST HIS THREE SMALL CHILDREN TO MURDER: LISTEN: "You have to LAUGH at life sometimes."

Brian Green
Brian Green

Not to mention he's one of the industries biggest joke thief. He is a hack and a wildly unoriginal one at that. This is his "any publicity is good publicity" attempt to save himself from being what he is. A wash out and a has been.

Laura Bruns
Laura Bruns

Yes. Not too many jokes out there about 9/11, Columbine, etc and there's a reason for that

Luke Henderson
Luke Henderson

No. Two things. Many comedians have already made jokes about it, it happens. But two, he was doing a set where he is working out material and someone illegally recorded it in the hopes they could get something to put online. The joke wasn't funny, and it really wasn't that offensive. Stop holding up comedians to some higher standard. Everyone who screams about protecting the second amendment should be just as loud in defending his first amendment.

Tarayn Marissa
Tarayn Marissa

Yes. There are just some things you don't say and that was not funny at all.

Travis Volz
Travis Volz

Just my personal opinion, but I've never found the guy that funny. He's spoiled and needy for attention. His shooting joke was lazy and shows how desperate he is.

Erich Dye
Erich Dye

YES!! But not just beacuse he used poor judgement,but beacuse it was not funny and he's a hack! The comedic version of a one hit wonder. Look what happened to Micheal Richards...same thing. He should appologize and quietly dissapear.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase 

 

Behold the Race to the Bottom of the Cesspool that is modern "journalism" in the U$A.

 

One big advertorial for the drooling dunces that comprise the average Jerry Springer audience.

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