For the first time in years, Dane Cook ignited the internet on Tuesday, but it’s not because of his jokes.
A coordinated and gushing article in People magazine carried the 50-year-old comedian’s engagement announcement to Kelsi Taylor, a 23-year-old budding singer and Pilates instructor from Los Angeles.
“I was proposing marriage to my best friend, the lady with whom I have had some of the happiest moments of my life, so that we may begin the next chapter of our lives together. I was also thinking about how gorgeous she was,” the comedian stated.
“My stomach flipped the second he started reaching for his back pocket,” Taylor continued. The situation could not have been more ideal in my eyes. I couldn’t stop asking myself, “Wait, is this really occurring right now? Is he making a proposal?
A few hours later, he posted a video of the proposal from July 13 at his holiday home in York Beach, Maine, on Instagram. The native of Massachusetts claims that the place has special meaning for him because he spent a lot of time there as a child and even scattered his mother’s ashes there at her wish.
Taylor is shown grinning and holding out her engagement ring in the video. The happy message is completed by drone footage of the stunning shore and flashbacks to the couple’s five-year love. Beyond the size of the rock or the secrecy surrounding his plans, it is their 26-year age difference that has generated the majority of the online discussion over the couple.
To be clear, Cook and Taylor began dating when she was just 18 years old in 2017.
To put it mildly, the May-December relationship has sparked a lot of discussion about age gaps and “grooming,” that dreadful term that has been appropriated by the right to describe anything homosexual people do but nevertheless has a definite meaning, believe it or not.
“Be kind to Dane Cook. He had no other option except to date a young woman who had never heard of him, according to one. Another joked, referencing the stand-up comedian and Whitney actor who was fired by his agents after multiple women accused him of pursuing them online when they were underage: “Chris delia and dane cook walk into a club and their dates have to wait outside.” Cook was also likened to other famous adult men who had dated minors in the past, such as Jerry Seinfeld and Elvis Presley.
Cook claimed in 2018 that the diva and he first connected over a gaming night at his residence. According to Us Weekly, he said during an Instagram Q&A that they were friends “for a long” before “falling in like with each [other] and then upgraded to love.”
Taylor is not well-known. There are only 17 monthly listeners listed on her Spotify page. As of Tuesday afternoon, her newest song, “Fall In Love,” has had 1,163 plays. “This is not how love blossoms. I don’t want to stop, though, as it might be time to let my guard down. Her voice is gentle yet strong as she sings, “I know you’ve been trying so hard, but I can’t take another scar,” over a rich piano arrangement.
Cook has occasionally highlighted her burgeoning career on Instagram. In April 2017, Cook wrote, “She’s a good vocalist but more importantly she’s a nice person. Learn more about her by listening to her music. She’s going places!
Since his 2007 peak, the comedian’s star has notably faded. Cook’s career began to take off around the turn of the century, about ten years after he began performing in 1990. His younger-skewing audience (who make up today’s older millennials) soon outgrew his cartoonishly hyperactive stage image, which was short on punchlines and big on volume. He was once an all-powerful comedian with the ability to fill arenas across the country. He hasn’t been in the news much during the past ten years as a result of that, along with a joke-stealing scandal that was briefly discussed on Louie.
Cook explained this slowdown in an interview with The Last Laugh, a Daily Beast podcast, by blaming the industry’s typecasting and a sense of personal fulfillment. “I took comedy to all the places I had imagined taking it. I didn’t want to bring stand-up comedy somewhere else, he remarked. Cook referenced Taylor twice during a media blitz for his comeback in 2019, drawing markedly reserved responses from the studio audiences both times.
During a 2019 interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he added, “People are like, ‘You’re stealing the cradle,’ and I’m like, ‘She hasn’t been in the cradle for nine years,'” to muted laughs.
A few months later, he made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, when he once more harped on Taylor’s age.
Cook responded to a few puzzled “ohs” that quickly turned into riotous laughing when everyone realized they were equally uncomfortable with the topic, “Where folks get a little bit persnickety sometimes with the relationship is I’m 47, she’s 20.” He pointed to the crowd across from him and said, “Oh thank you, that was the best laugh of approval I’ve ever heard.
There doesn’t appear to be a happier relationship out there, at least not according to social media.
“Spent the day roaming around downtown, shooting pictures in Fun-O-arcade, Rama’s and getting a good ol’ york beach hoodie for myself. Weeks before she announced her engagement to the public, Taylor posted on the day of her engagement, “Playing tourist is so incredibly enjoyable.