Dane Cook Once Performed for Seven Hours Straight at The Laugh Factory Just to Spite Dave Chappelle
Leave it to stand-ups to spend all night onstage just to get the last laugh.
Today, the rivalry of Dane Cook versus Dave Chappelle is roughly as lopsided as that of the Washington Generals and the Harlem Globetrotters, but the King of Myspace was once a worthy adversary of the King of Netflix. In 2007, Cook was a double-platinum comedy superstar who was selling out stadiums, and Chappelle was still largely avoiding the public eye, post-Chappelle’s Show and pre-The Age of Spin — and, at the legendary Laugh Factory in Hollywood, Los Angeles, the pair engaged in an historic game of comedy chicken.
In April 2007, Cook set the Laugh Factory’s record for longest uninterrupted performance with a near-four hour spot, usurping a mark set by Richard Pryor 27 years earlier. Five days later, Chappelle beat Cook’s time with a whopping six-hour set, then Chappelle beat his own record later that year by five minutes. Well, in 2008, Cook would set a record that remains unbroken to this day with a seven hour, thirty-four minute performance which proved, once and for all, that Dane Cook is harder to shut up than Dave Chappelle.
As the rumor goes, the Laugh Factory posturing actually began before the record-breaking while Chappelle was still working on his Comedy Central sketch show. Allegedly, Chappelle once showed up to the comedy club to get some reps, only to be told that it was “Dane’s night,” and he would only be allowed a 10-minute spot before Cook’s set. Well, Chappelle complied with his time constraints, and after 10 minutes of stand-up, he told the audience that they could find him smoking outside the club if they wanted to get a picture, an autograph or just shoot the breeze. Cook played to an empty house after the entire crowd followed Chappelle out the door. Cook has since denied the story, but, if true, it would sure add some context to the competition that followed.
Flash forward to when Cook claimed the endurance title from Pryor, one of Chappelle’s heroes and the comedian to whom he is most often compared, and Chappelle wasted no time taking the top spot on the leaderboard. Though Chappelle would hold the title for over a year and a half, Cook returned in January 2008 to stick it to his rival with a seven-and-a-half hour, stream-of-consciousness set that started on a Tuesday night and ended early Wednesday morning. Club owner Jamie Masada later remarked, “If this rivalry keeps up, I’m going to turn the Laugh Factory into a bed and breakfast.”
In November 2009, Chappelle attempted to take Cook’s crown away for a second time, but five hours into the endurance test, Chappelle dipped offstage to use the bathroom, causing Masada to disqualify him to his and his audience’s dismay. In the years since the showdown, no comic has successfully challenged Cook’s record and the mark stands engraved atop the Laugh Factory’s Wikipedia page.
Today, the rivalry has cooled, and Cook speaks favorably of his former foe whenever the topic comes up. Chappelle is arguably the most popular comedian on the planet while Cook is trying to recreate his social media magic on Threads, so it’s unlikely that the former will waste his time trying to come out on top of a 16-year grudge. However, if anyone in Los Angeles ever spots Chappelle at a checkout line with a pack of Depends, let us know — we’ll see you all at the Laugh Factory.