Stream It Or Skip It: 'Dane Cook: Above It All' On Moment, A Pay-Per-View Special Filmed From His Front Porch – Decider

Stream It Or Skip It: 'Dane Cook: Above It All' On Moment, A Pay-Per-View Special Filmed From His Front Porch – Decider

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Dane Cook: Above It All’ On Moment, A Pay-Per-View Special Filmed From His Front Porch
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Has it really been eight years since Dane Cook released a stand-up comedy special? If you’re in Gen Z, do you need me to explain to you who Cook is? It has been a moment since the comedian was the hottest act, and now he’s hoping to create a new moment for himself on a new platform called Moment.
The Gist: So yeah, from 2005-2008, Cook was the biggest name in comedy, starring in three films in three years (Employee of the Month, Good Luck Chuck, My Best Friend’s Girl), co-starring in two other major movies, hosting Saturday Night Live twice, and becoming the first stand-up in a generation to headline arenas across America and hit the Top 10 on the Billboard album charts. But he has kept a lower profile in the past decade, and this marks his first comedy special since releasing Troublemaker in 2014 on Showtime.
For this shoot, he stuck with Marty Callner — who directed Cook’s arena-sized HBO Vicious Circle special and intimate Comedy Central hour, Isolated Incident — for an even more intimate affair filmed from his porch above it all overlooking Los Angeles. But Cook decided to take his special to a relatively brand-new VOD platform, Moment. Launched in 2019 and previously known as Moment House, the site works like a PPV. It’s where Andrew Schulz took his 2022 special after claiming the big streamers wanted to censor him. And it’s where other comedians such as Matt Braunger (MADtv) and Jade Catta-Pretta (Hotties) have their newest specials premiering also this month.
Above It All debuted Oct. 5, with tickets costing $15 ($19 and change, with fees) to watch it, with replays available for two weeks following the premiere.

What Comedy Specials Will It Remind You Of?: Kevin Hart released a pandemic special for Netflix staged to look as though it were filmed in his home, but this really is Cook’s home in the Hollywood Hills. Which gives his special a vibe similar to Nate Bargatze’s 2021 special filmed outdoors for Netflix nearby in Universal City, as both Cook and Bargatze found themselves interrupted by airplanes and helicopters flying overhead.
Memorable Jokes: To anyone doubting the setting of this special as his actual home, Cook tells the folks assembled in his yard: “Good Luck Chuck did very well.”
Much of the hour is devoted to two stories. In the first half-hour, Cook reveals a harrowing encounter with a female stalker, escalating from round-the-clock DMs over Instagram to an extended stakeout outside his home. At one point, Cook asks a friend in the police force for advice, only to learn how he could kill the mentally-ill fan and get away with it. He mutters an epithet about the LAPD, adding: “They are good at being bad!” When the woman finally leaves Cook alone, he’s left to wonder if it’s a shot to his ego: “What, is she at Kevin Hart’s house now?”
The final 15 minutes find Cook dishing about the one and allegedly only time he thought about quitting comedy, very early in his career, thanks to his first gig outside of New England, hitting the road to Florida to perform atop a hot-dog stand.
Our Take: Cook has come a long way from dodging wieners thrown by hecklers.
His title for this special can refer literally to his pricey perch overlooking Los Angeles, as well as figuratively and metaphorically finding himself above all the hustle, fame, hype and backlash he has endured over the past two decades.
Fans of the 2000s-era Cook will find glimpses of him still enthusiastically ripping into the idea of having to attend a friend’s wedding, or pausing on the Citizen app to mull over the use of the term “brandishing” and muse even more about the thought-process for smash-and-grab robbers.
But Cook is 50 now. And watching him perform on a platform such as Moment means watching the interactive chat box next to the screen, where you can see some of his fans question his evolution as a comedian, as well as his engagement to a much younger woman who was in her teens when he first started hanging out with her. As a critic, I often try to remember how casual comedy fans might feel about all of this; on Moment, you’re reminded how super-fans of the SuFi guy feel. They can quibble publicly online even just seeing him do a bit they’d seen live three years earlier.
As for his relationship, Cook does weigh in directly, but only for a moment, as it were. He jokes about both the public’s reaction (“I bet the internet’s happy for me. I should check”) and makes himself the butt of at least one joke about finding his love when he did: “Where have you been all my life? And then I remembered she wasn’t alive for 26 years of it.” Alas, there’s no closure to this bit, unlike the stories that bookend the hour. And when he discloses his love of true-crime TV, he prompted a double-take out of me when he outlined how he would defend himself in court. Does he think he’ll need to someday? If so, he explains how he’d win over a jury: “It’s all about charisma…that’s all you have to do to win the case.”
If he hopes to win over audiences, he may have convinced just enough of them to remain fans. But I’d wager the court of public opinion here would result in a hung jury.
Our Call: SKIP IT. I’d wait for Moment to start offering subscription deals, because $19 for one comedy special, no matter whose it, is not worth as much as paying $5-$15 for access to dozens, if not hundreds, of equally amusing hours of stand-up comedy.
Sean L. McCarthy works the comedy beat for his own digital newspaper, The Comic’s Comic; before that, for actual newspapers. Based in NYC but will travel anywhere for the scoop: Ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes with comedians revealing origin stories: The Comic’s Comic Presents Last Things First.
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