Dane Cook and Napoleon Dynamite

***You're probably expecting a repost, as I'd explained in my earlier "Hara Kiri" blog, but I'll save that redundance for tomorrow. 


Dane Cook and Napoleon Dynamite are two completely separate entities.  One's a comedian, and one's a movie...or a character with a movie named after him.  The one thing they have in common is that most people either think they're either wildly hilarious or completely unfunny and horribly overrated.

Here's my thoughts on Dane Cook.  He IS overrated, but once upon a time, he was funny.  Once he told original jokes, and his constant yelling during "punch lines" wasn't overdone and annoying.  His physical animation was new and hilarious.  His overall stage persona was fresh.  He looked like a regular, funny guy that didn't have a stylist.  He wore black tanktops and dress shoes on stage, and he used too much hair gel, making it look like you could snap off a lock of his hair if he walked past you. Basically looked like he wanted to look good for his TV special, but didn't have a swelled head about it.  He just didn't want to make his mother shake her head in embarrassment. 

Nowadays, he still uses too much hair gel, but it's professionally done, when he's not wearing a new but simultaneously tattered baseball cap, pulled "seductively" low over his eyes.  He won't go on camera without at least a quarter inch of carefully groomed stubble.  He walks around on stage in circles shouting out random, sometimes-mildly-amusing observations and compulsively tugging at the designer, $150.00 t-shirt, ensuring it stretches just right over his pre-faded, flare leg, douchebag jeans.  When he tells a joke that wasn't stolen directly from Louis C.K., the punchline usually alludes to his dick, or a one-night-stand, or something else that seems designed to make the slutty girls in the audience screech like retarded spider monkeys in heat. 

By comparison, I think Napoleon Dynamite is a tremendously funny movie, and isn't overrated at all.  Hollywood always relied on cookie cutter stereotypes for movie roles of heroes, villains, and damsels in distress (which have slightly and gradually changed, with growing ethnic over-sensitivity among the "beautiful people") and the nerd stereotype is no exception.  There are two different types:  The nerd who looks down on all that is cool, and talks openly about his obsession with computers, his overly-dependent relationship with his parents, and his chronic ailments (In extreme cases, graphic descriptions of mucus are involved) and is therefore, he is deservedly ridiculed.  Think "Saved by the Bell, bowties, suspenders, hiked-up pants, pocket pretectors, and thick glasses with tape over the nose.  The second type of nerd wants to be cool, but is just too frail to join the football team.  However, in the end, he gets the girl and a pile of money.

Napoleon Dynamite is a more faithful-to-reality depiction of a misfit.  His clothes are at least twenty years out of style.  He needs a haircut, but not in a cool, rebellious or hippie kind of way; in an awkwardly fuzzy or afro-ey way. In a "is too lazy", or "can't afford to go to the barber shop" way.  He's not necessarily a genius.  In fact, he could be quite stupid.  He spends his day in class drawing pictures of hulking, muscular barbarians, and mythical animals, with one leg twice as long as the other three.  The extent of his social skills are casually telling people about his ninja skills, or lying about the nunchuku (pronounced numchucks) he stores in his locker.  Probably an attempt to impress others, or make them think they should stop messing with him, because in reality he could rip out their larynx in a millisecond...Reminds me of a video I saw of a kid featured on the other eBaum's site, showing off his "skills"...which probably means it's made it's way onto the feature page of this site as I was typing this.

Anyway, Napoleon Dynamite is one of my favorite movies, and it's filled with wonderfully subtle jokes (i.e.- In Napoleon's house, check out the portraits of him and Kip hanging on the wall, and laugh at the Olan Mills quality of it all).  Possibly the only way you'd pick up on them is if you were a misfit yourself, or knew a kid like Napoleon and were amused by his quirkiness, and obvious, feeble attempts coolness.  Perhaps non-coincidentally, people seem to either be fans of one or the other.  It's either subtlety or screaming dick jokes.

So, in conclusion, overrated?

Dane Cook = Definitely.

Napoleon Dynamite = Not at all. 




Uploaded 06/12/2009
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