Rough Around The Edges – Live at Madison Square Gardens is a solid Dane Cook CD /DVD set released by Comedy Central. I would say the best but the 3 disc Retaliation is the best bang for your buck.

Cook is the whipping boy of the stand-up comedy world; the comedian other comics like to slam as being all show and no substance. Then again, while other stand-up comedians peak at uppity Carnegie Hall, Dane Cook sells out down to earth Madison Square Gardens. Releasing a stand-up comedy set of the evening titled Rough Around The Edges Live at Madison Square Gardens is no doubt his way of sticking his tongue out at his comedy business detractors.

Dane Cook certainly does comedy of the mundane, pace around the stage a lot, and exaggerates his gestures in a way that oversells his material, something oft imitated by comics who like to make fun of Cook, but it is his style and though it may make him look rough around the edges it sells out MSG: the audience is always right.

Okay, so he doesn’t always segue well but Dane Cook does manage to go smoothlessly from Tivo to the Civil War and photographs of the time to save the children commercials (15 cents) and it is smart stuff. Those who say Cook does not do relevant comedy would do well to listen to 15 cents.

Like many other stand-up comedians, Cook does some Oprah material. Unlike other comics, his take is good and his imitation of the O dead on. You also got to give it to Cook for his rapist baseball card joke although he does jump to something totally different, sex with mannequins.

It is these sudden and disorganized jumps that irritate some people. Perhaps Dane Cook is afraid of getting serious because he is afraid to lose the audience.

If there is a weak moment on this CD / DVD set it certainly is track 10 of Dane Cook Rough Around The Edges where Cook milks the weak premise of a friend with VD. This, however, segues nicely into the condom bit that Cook … stretches a bit thin.

In fact, endings are not Cook’s forte here. Rough Around The Edges ends at 59 minutes, as if this was the time allotted to the discs, and Cook does not nail an ending to his sex story.

Dane Cook  Rough Around The Edges DVD may be a better experience than the compact disc simply because hearing someone in the audience yell her head off for no reason during the show is less jarring if you are watching the show.

Rough Around The Edges ? Live at Madison Square Garden
Dane Cook
Stand-Up Comedy CD / DVD
Comedy Central 2007
60 minutes



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