Dane Jeffrey Cook (born March 18, 1972) is an American stand-up comedian and film actor. He has released five comedy albums: Harmful If Swallowed; Retaliation; Vicious Circle; Rough Around The Edges: Live From Madison Square Garden; and Isolated Incident. In 2006, Retaliation became the highest charting comedy album in 28 years and went platinum. He performed an HBO special in the Fall of 2006, Vicious Circle, a straight-to-DVD special titled Rough Around The Edges (which is included in the album of the same name), and a Comedy Central special in 2009 titled Isolated Incident.
He is credited as one of the first comedians to use a personal webpage and MySpace to build a large fan base and in 2006 was described as "alarmingly popular". As an actor, Cook has appeared in films since 1997, including Mystery Men, Waiting..., Employee of the Month, Good Luck Chuck, Dan in Real Life, Mr. Brooks (in a non-comedic role), and My Best Friend's Girl.
Cook was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the second son of Donna Jean (née Ford) and George F. Cook. Cook has an older half-brother, Darryl, and five sisters. He was raised in a Roman Catholic family in Arlington, Massachusetts, where he attended Arlington High School.
Cook has described himself as being "pretty quiet, pretty introverted, shy" as a child, although he was a "wild child" at home. He overcame his shyness in his junior year of high school when he began acting and doing stand-up comedy. After graduating from high school, he studied graphic design in college as a back-up plan in case he did not achieve success in comedy. He now designs all of his merchandise, including the cover of his album Harmful If Swallowed. Cook has stated that he does not drink or do drugs.
Cook's half-brother Darryl was Cook's business manager until 2008, when it was discovered that Darryl and his wife had embezzled millions of dollars from Dane Cook. Both Darryl and his wife have been sentenced to prison for the embezzlement.