He knows he's branding himself unhip, but Steve Macone isn't backing down on the subject of Dane Cook: "Yes, he is probably more popular than he should be. Yes, there are other comedians equally deserving of fame." But "at this juncture, it's wrong to say, 'Dane Cook is not funny,'" he writes. "Because he is." And Macone considers the almost-universal backlash against his fellow comedian confirmation that Cook is a victim of his own arena-size success.
"Telling jokes in front of 20,000 people is not comedy," Macone writes in the Boston Phoenix. "Comedy is a conversation with the crowd. When you have to wait for the sound to reach the corners of a space so large that it can accommodate a full circus, the show usually turns into one." It creates a disconnect that forces Cook to exaggerate his bits. "Fans end up screaming more than laughing. It's this tableau that has turned many people off." But check out Cook's new DVD, filmed at a club rather than an arena, Macone suggests: "Isolated Incident has the feel of an acoustic album, where your reaction is likely to be, 'Okay, these songs can stand on their own.' "