The beginning of the 2000s was really a completely different era.
It’s probably fair to say that the peak of Dane Cook’s fame came in 2007. During this period, he became a household name thanks to such achievements as the sale of Madison Square Garden and appearing in films with actors such as Kevin Costner and Jessica Alba. Obviously, this makes it possible to communicate with some of the biggest actors in Hollywood, and for Cook it meant literally kissing a tipsy Charlize Theron in the ass for national television. Before you ask, yes, you read it right.
Dane Cook and Charlize Theron appeared together on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and decided to work together on something for the public. Here’s how Dane explained it to me, including his assumption that these days he would get “50 million views in one night”:
One night on The Tonight Show, Charlize Theron was there, and she had a couple of drinks, and she feels really cocky, and she’s like, “What are you going to do?” And I’m like, “I’m going to go out and improvise this thing.” And she’s like this: “You have to involve me in this somehow.” Because it was in an era when another guest stayed on the couch with you and it was more like more fun and free. And I end up telling a slightly obscene story, and she laughs. And then, as after that, there is a moment that I think today you would say that in this generation of TokTok it will go viral. It will probably get about 50 million views overnight. It was something like that. But then it was like word of mouth.
Nowadays it is quite difficult to find the video in question, but I managed to make this screenshot for our dear viewers. To serve as proof, if nothing else:
Again, I feel the need to repeat that at that time Dane Cook was probably the most famous stand-up comedian in the world. He auditioned for Steven Spielberg, was mentioned in Jeopardy! and even in an attempt to play Captain America, although he did have problems with Marvel because of that. Charlize Theron was a little different height, having already received an Oscar for her role in Monster. During the segment in question, Cook praised her career and then apologized to Theron for “kissing your ass.” Then she took a position so they could create a moment at the top.
Although the mid-2000s doesn’t seem like a very long time ago to some of us, perhaps the biggest cultural shift since then has been the prevalence of the Internet in our lives. Such a moment would instantly hit YouTube and TikTok, but now it is generally difficult to find it. Dane Cook touched on this idea and how it affected the reaction of others, calling this era of the Internet the “Wild West”:
“Did you see what happened on The Tonight Show last night?” Yes, I had to survive it for about two weeks if my phone rang. Like, “was that the plan? You, she was in this? Did she tell you that you can do it?” It was crazy. “Are you in trouble?” And it was just like it was in the era not long before, I think the Internet became what it was, it was in its infancy. It was great. It was the Wild West.
Obviously, a lot has changed since the days of the Wild West: Charlize Theron has become a real action star, and The Old Guard 2 has become her latest project, and she even became part of the Marvel cinematic universe thanks to the fact that she appeared as the dazzling Clea in Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness.
As for Dane Cook, he has largely retired from the film business, but he still does what he does best: stand-up comedy. His new special Above It All has just left the Moment live streaming platform. Don’t worry if you missed it, as the comic is currently eyeing to find a more permanent home for the special. In the meantime, we have a handy list of everything that will appear on television in 2022!