Dane Cook Parlays New Burger King Menu Item Into Hour-Long HBO Special

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Special Coverage


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Dane Cook Parlays New Burger King Menu Item Into Hour-Long HBO Special

LOS ANGELES—Building upon his previous Burger King–related work, comedian Dane Cook announced plans Monday to tape an hour-long HBO stand-up special devoted entirely to the Texas Double Whopper, the latest menu offering from the fast-food giant.

The Cookster

"Bro, I got a solid 15 [minutes] on the name alone," said Cook on the "Danecast" video weblog feature on his MySpace page. "I'm still working out the kinks, but I'm probably gonna call it the 'T-Dubs' or maybe the 'Spicy Dub-Whops.'"

Cook said that the new burger, which substitutes jalapeño peppers and mustard for the original Double Whopper's mayonnaise and ketchup, has inspired him to "new creative heights." The routine came to the popular comic "in a flash" as he watched a Burger King TV spot for the sandwich during ESPN's World Series Of Poker.

Last week, HBO signed Cook to produce, write, and star in the special tentatively titled Dane Cook: Burgasm for an unprecedented $25 million, the highest amount the cable network has ever paid to a comedian for a one-time-only, fast-food-themed performance.

"When Dane told us what he had in mind, we couldn't sign off on it fast enough," HBO's Chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht said. "We love working with Dane. He's a truly energetic talent, and we're sure that whatever he comes up with, people will watch."

Cook introduces a 15-minute section on alcoholism and french fries during a 2005 performance.

Cook said he completely scrapped all of his old fast-food material and, in his usual diligent way, spent several weeks creating hours of new Texas Double Whopper jokes, then "painfully" pared down the act to what he described on MySpace as "what you might call 'completely off the fucking hook.'"

"I'll ease the audience in by calling [the Texas Double Whopper] a 'sangwich,' and Burger King the 'BK Lounge,' but then I'll hit them with both barrels and call it the 'BK Lounge sangwich,'" Cook said. "You can expect me to pace some, then squat, then probably growl like I'm hungry, and say 'Huuuungry!' And to really hit it home, I'll climb up on the stool, howl, kick the stool over, and dive to the ground and do the worm. It looks totally spontaneous, but it's all carefully choreographed, and that's the beauty of it."

"I mean, the fucking thing has jalapeños on it, bro," Cook added. "Jalapeños."

Last month, Cook tested the new material in small comedy clubs across the country, trying out different inflections and pitches on newly created Cook-isms for soft-drink dispensers as well as gauging audience response to iterations of the word "dude."

"Stand-up comedy is an art form—it's not just writing and telling jokes," Cook said. "It requires your whole body and soul to gesticulate wildly and yell the same things about sesame seeds and mustard over and over at the audience in different voices until they laugh."

"And if there's a camera present, stand-up is an art form that's about putting your face as close as possible to that camera and screaming at it," Cook continued.

The 'Spicy Dub-Whops.'

The taping is scheduled to take place in mid-April at Madison Square Garden. Plans are underway to erect a state-of-the-art hamburger-shaped set, and install nearly two dozen wide-screen TV monitors that will capture every subtle change in Cook's facial expressions as he performs for eager fans.

"I'm gonna need all that shit when I launch into my 20-minute bit about ketchup packets," Cook said. "That's when I really start running around. And screaming, bro."

While Cook revealed that he will wear a new white T-shirt, leather wristband, and a pair of specially designed jeans, and has promised to pepper his performance with several crowd-pleasing callbacks to the most "pivotal" cheese and pickle jokes, he declined to disclose any further details.

"I want all my fans to be surprised, but I will say that a significant portion of [the special] will focus on the time when the dude I ordered from at the BK Lounge looked at me all like, 'Pfffffffft,'" said Cook, contorting his face into a cross-eyed, puckered grimace. "Swear to fucking God, bro, 'Pfffffffft!' Just like that!"

"Bro, 'Pfffffffft!'" Cook said.

Cook refused to comment on rumors that he has modified his "Superfinger"—an obscene gesture he invented in which both the middle and ring fingers are extended—to incorporate several additional fingers that mimic the action of holding a burger while simultaneously stimulating a woman's clitoris.

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