Dane Cook’s Tourgasm

Those who have yet to be absorbed into the cult of Dane Cook fans will likely be left mystified as to his appeal upon viewing this tedious comics-on-tour reality show -- a half-hour vanity project that proves HBO can not only be TV, but bad TV at that.

Those who have yet to be absorbed into the cult of Dane Cook fans will likely be left mystified as to his appeal upon viewing this tedious comics-on-tour reality show — a half-hour vanity project that proves HBO can not only be TV, but bad TV at that. A popular comic, Cook and a trio of his chums crisscross the country by bus, bonding and showcasing snippets of their stand-up acts. Any further resemblance between this and a series is purely coincidental.

HBO has made a substantial investment in Cook, signing him to a multifaceted deal that includes not just “Tourgasm” but also a concert film and plans for a scripted series. Those subsequent projects might showcase him in a more flattering light, but talk about putting a worst foot forward.

Credited as an executive producer and director on this maiden project, Cook fills the role of tour headliner, joined by other performers at various stages of their career. Along the way, they kill time riding horses, rough-housing and generally being obnoxious, while critiquing and occasionally trying to help with each other’s material.

Cook is billed as “the leader,” a slightly more positive designation than those affixed to fellow comics Gary Gulman (“the conflicted”), Robert Kelly (“the instigator”) and Jay Davis (“the newbie”), the last being the only moniker that makes sense. That said, watching Davis butcher the same joke week after week begins to grow tiresome and a little painful.

If the idea was to capture the life of a traveling minstrel, the series itself is a disjointed mess, mixing montages, direct-to-camera interviews, candid footage of the boys trying to sleep and adoring fans lining up for autographs. Nor is there any sense of place as their rock group-style bus motors from town to town.

Any sympathy toward the participants, however, is obliterated by the fact that they are almost uniformly boring at best, and irritating at worst. Even the arguments and disputes that emerge have no clear foundation, essentially materializing out of thin air. And while the name sounds provocative, there’s not even a hint of sex (isn’t that half the reason people tour?) until Cook’s girlfriend arrives in episode three. Anyone for “Dane Cook’s Egomania,” perhaps?

HBO was doubtless looking for a quick-hit production to capitalize on the deal that the pay net inked with Cook in March — and a relatively low-risk one at that, scheduled to follow the comedy block of “Entourage” and “Lucky Louie.”

As for the comic himself, great success might await him with his myriad TV projects, but all he’s really done here is disprove an old adage — demonstrating that it’s possible for a single Cook to spoil the broth.

Dane Cook's Tourgasm

HBO, Sun. June 11, 11 p.m.

Production: Produced by SuperFinger Entertainment and New Wave Entertainment. Executive producers, Dane Cook, Barry Katz, Brian Volk-Weiss, Jay Blumenfield, Anthony Marsh; supervising producer, Brielle Lebsack-Cohen; line producer, Jay Chapman; director, Cook.

Crew: Editor, Pierre Dwyer; music, Jeffrey Hepker. Running Time: 30 MIN.

More TV

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Projects More Than $1.2 Billion in Ad Sales for 2020 Olympics

    NBCUniversal projected it would sell more than $1.2 billion in advertising for its 17 days of broadcasts of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo, citing the event as a rare opportunity for Madison Avenue to reach big audiences without the worry of politics getting in the way of a commercial message. The Olympics is “one of [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Follow Up, Jeffrey Epstein Docuseries in the Works at Lifetime

    Lifetime is working on a follow up to the hit docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” and a new docuseries about Jeffrey Epstein. Rob Sharenow, president of programming for A+E Networks, made the announcements at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday. “The Aftermath” will be a four-part series featuring interviews with new survivors, psychologists, [...]

  • Janelle Monae

    Janelle Monáe to Star in 'Homecoming' Season 2 at Amazon

    Janelle Monáe has been tapped to star in the second season of “Homecoming.” Monáe’s character is described as a tenacious woman who finds herself floating in a canoe, with no memory of how she got there or who she is. Monáe takes over the top spot on the Amazon series from Julia Roberts, who starred [...]

  • Juan Alfonso Fazekas Butters

    Fazekas & Butters Taps Juan Alfonso to Be Head of Television

    Fazekas & Butters, a production company led by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, has named Juan Alfonso as the new head of television. There, he will develop and produce projects, and seek out and engage with writers, intellectual property and creative partners, “matchmaking talented people and ideas,” according to Alfonso. The pod, which launched in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content