Comedian Dane Cook brashly dove into last week’s theater shooting that occurred during The Dark Knight Rises screening in Aurora, Colo., incorporating the still-raw tragedy into his stand-up routine at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles on Thursday night. The Daily Caller website posted a video that featured the following bit:
“So I heard that the guy came into the theater about 25 minutes into the movie. And I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, but the movie is pretty much a piece of crap… Yeah, spoiler alert. And I know that if none of that would have happened, I’m pretty sure that somebody in that theater, about 25 minutes in, realizing it was a piece of crap, probably was like, ‘Ugh f—king shoot me.’”
Audience reaction to the joke was mixed, with some groaning and others laughing. A call to Cook’s publicist for comment was not immediately returned.
UPDATE: Cook himself went on Twitter to apologize. “I am devastated by the recent tragedy in Colorado & did not mean to make light of what happened. I made a bad judgment call with my material last night & regret making a joke at such a sensitive time. My heart goes out to all of the families & friends of the victims,” he wrote.
Cook’s joke is reminiscent of one famously told by Gilbert Gottfried, who made a poorly-received 9/11 joke at the Hugh Hefner Friars Club roast that took place in New York City three weeks after the World Trade Center towers were destroyed. Gottfried began by saying that he tried to get a direct flight to the event, “but they said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first.” The crowd howled at Gottfried, with one man shouting, “Too soon!”
Gottfried immediately recovered, launching into a hilariously vile version of the Aristocrats joke that helped inspire a documentary. (Of course, Gottfried didn’t learn his lesson.) Will Cook, who has a sitcom in the works at NBC, bounce back as quickly? Too soon!… to tell.