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In His Kitchen

Dane Cook delivers special that brings his range of subjects together more cohesively

Dane Cook: ISolated INcident,” the popular but much-maligned comedian’s new special of all new material that debuted on Comedy Central on May 17 and is out on CD on May 19, gives him a chance to get back at the “haters.”

In “Haters,” a track from the special, Cook gets back at one fan, playing out one of his typical shaggy dog stories with a great payoff where Cook doesn’t have to be the nice guy in the end. Cook even plays with race in “Obama” – and pulls it off – on the notion that having a black president makes it a little less objectionable to be racist now.

As ever, Cook weaves what might seem to be innocuous subject matter with expert timing and effortless command of the audience (or listeners). Andy Kindler and others might disparage Cook, but even after he became a platinum-selling artist, he still toured with Dave Attell and Greg Giraldo in a comedians’ comedians type of tour.

Like on his biggest hit album, “Retaliation,” Cook’s delivery of his material has an unforced stream of consciousness feel to it, flowing from one subject, topic or story to another without any noticeable transitions or punctuation separating the bits.

In the same manner, Cook can be casually profane, not overtly calling your attention to a raunchy story or dirty words but sailing blithely through them, as on “Interracial Tail,” a piece where Cook again straddles the line on race, definitely being offensive but being so friendly in demeanor, that his tone gets him laughs regardless.

Compared to his previous album, “Rough Around the Edges: Live from Madison Square Garden,” which seemed to be more of a tour souvenir than a cohesive effort like “Retaliation,” “ISolated INcident,” for all its shambling qualities, carries through that indefinable quality of Cook’s that makes a collection of seemingly random thoughts hang together and work as a whole -- one that slowly but surely sparks reactions.




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