Dane Cook has been laughing all the way to the bank.
The mega-popular comedian-actor-musician has taken his stand-up comic routine from the comedy clubs in his hometown of Arlington, Mass., to arenas all over the United States and Canada, as well as iconic venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York City; Boston Garden, where he performed two record-breaking shows for 38,000 fans; and Madison Square Garden, where he entertained no less than 39,000 fans, according to his official website, www.danecook.com.
He has hosted "Saturday Night Live," appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "The Tonight Show" and has starred in movies like "Employee of the Month," "Good Luck Chuck" and "My Best Friend's Girl."
Comedian Dane Cook performs at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday.
Now he's headed to State College.
Cook will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, as part of his latest comedy tour, "Dane Cook Live!"
"When he was last here in 2005, it was part of his 'Tourgasm' tour. He did 20 dates in 30 days and we had the largest attendance of that entire tour, which was part of an HBO series," Bernie Punt, director of sales and marketing for BJC, said.
If you go
What: "Dane Cook Live"
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3
Where: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park
Admission: Tickets are $34.75 and $69.75, with a limited number of VIP tickets available. Tickets can be purchased at the Bryce Jordan Center, Eisenhower Auditorium, Penn Sate Downtown Theatre, Penn State Altoona Campus Ticket Outlet, online at www.bjc.psu.edu or by calling 865-5555
"Later, on HBO, he said that he knew he made it after performing the Bryce Jordan Center. It was after that show that he started doing arenas ... He went up and down the East Coast doing show after show after playing the Bryce."
"My last tour went for 14 months and we did 80 arenas," the 38-year-old Cook said in a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles.
"It was a celebration of 20 years of comedy. I had to be forced off the road. My managers were like, 'You need to take a break.' ... But yeah, they had to force me to stop. It was just getting better and better."
Cook's career began in earnest in 1994 when he moved to New York City and began performing, according to his website's biography.
Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles , where he still lives today. His big comedy break came in 1998 when he appeared on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend." In 2000, he did a half-hour special on "Comedy Central Presents."
Entertainment Weekly magazine called him a "comedian phenom and icon." His web site describes his comedic style as "combining energetic physical comedy, clever wordplay and insightful observations about human behavior" - a style that has "galvanized audiences of all ages."
"I wanted to create a stage persona for myself that allowed me to really speak about anything I want, so I can be a storyteller, I can be jokey, I can be corny, I can be a little vulgar, I can be a lot vulgar," the entertainer said.
"And I'm not afraid to go anywhere to get the point of the joke across, even if I have to just blabber ... until it becomes apparent that I'm [stupid] and that the audience should laugh."
In 2003, Cook released his first CD/DVD, "Harmful If Swallowed," which is now certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
After signing a contract with Comedy Central Records in 2005, he released his second CD/DVD, "Retaliation," which was certified double-platinum, making Cook the first comic in 29 years to have an album at No. 4 on the Billboard charts.
He released two more albums, "Rough Around the Edges: Live from Madison Square Garden" and "Isolated Incident," in 2007 and 2009, respectively.
Cook has been named Rolling Stone magazine's "Hot Comic" and Stuff magazine's "Coolest Comic of the Year," according to his web site.
Last year, his spot in pop culture was confirmed when Time magazine listed him as one of the world's 100 "most influential people."
But it hasn't been an easy ride for Cook. It's been an up-and-down journey of self-exploration, and reaching beyond his grasp as a person.
"I was a socially awkward kid growing up, I suffered a lot of anxiety," he said. "Stand-up [comedy] helped me build up a confidence and belief in myself - a kind of bravado.
"And that sort of bled from my stand-up routine into my personal life. So for the first 10 years of my comedic career, my stand-up routine actually informed my personal life, whereas the last 10 years of my personal life have informed my stand-up routine. So now my act is sort of a meeting-of-the-minds kind of thing."
Punt said Cook has been champing at the comedic bit to get back to BJC.
"He's been trying to get back and we've been trying to book him," Punt said, adding that booking someone like Cook is never an easy process.
"It's more difficult than you might think," he said. "It's hard to coordinate these kinds of shows when we have so many other events scheduled. And the artist may not even be touring or be available when we have openings."
He said tickets sales have been brisk, adding "we still have a lot of center-stage seats available."
As for Cook's act, don't expect to hear about politics, the economy or global warming.
"I don't like topical humor," he said. "You get enough of that on your TV and in your home. I want to make audiences forget about what's going on in the world, laugh like crazy and escape for a bit with me. That's what this is all about."
Staff Writer Jimmy Mincin is at 946-7460.