Dane Cook made a dumb joke about the Aurora shootings and suffered a rare backlash from his adoring fans over it. Now he's issued an apology, but it raises the question: How soon is too soon?
Of course, some things should probably never be made fun of, like murder, and Cook is not exactly known for his viciously snarky humor. He's really been more about jokes that college-age audiences can identify with, like dorm life, crappy jobs and crazy girlfriends. Or boyfriends.
After the 9/11 attacks, a famous quote called the event "the end of the age of irony." Less than a month later, it was business as usual.
But, even more than a decade on, 9/11 jokes are more likely to get a groan than a chuckle. The topic is barely getting coverage from dramatic writers. It was decades after the JFK assassination until audiences felt easy enough to laugh--at clever jokes, anyway.
But the joke that Dane Cook made is beyond groan-inducing, even a week later. In fact, it's really a retread from, of all things, the Lincoln assassination. Still, it was definitely in bad taste, and he's apologized for it. On Twitter of course.
In the video below, The Young Turks discuss the specifics, so there's no need to delve into it here. Let them be the potty mouths. So, yes, Dane. It's definitely too soon.
Hopefully, for your career, and your fans, a heartfelt apology hasn't come too late.