As a comedian, Dane Cook has built his reputation on sharp observations and quick retorts about virtually anything.

That may be the kind of thing a person is born with, but still, it’s not surprising to find out that Cook is a diehard Red Sox fan.

No wonder he can find humor in anything.

“I definitely think growing up in Red Sox Nation, before they won the World Series, gives you a little different perspective on things,” said Cook, who was raised in Greater Boston.

When asked in October who might win the World Series this year with the Red Sox out of contention, Cook shot back: “Who cares? As long as the Yankees are out of it.”

Cook will bring his New England-bred sense of comedy to the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on Sunday.

Cook, 38, has established himself as a comic icon for folks in their 20s and 30s with concerts, albums, DVDs, TV specials and several movies, including “Employee of the Month” and “My Best Friend’s Girl.”

But like a lot of comedians, although he enjoys and flourishes in other forms of performance, Cook always seems to be drawn to stand-up comedy. His current tour is coming at a time when he was supposed to be on a break.

“My tour last year was a massive undertaking, with 80 arenas in 14 months, and after that I figured that after 20 years of stand-up and always wanting to get more tools in my arsenal, I’d take a break, a hiatus,” said Cook.

“So I started to just live life, and almost immediately, I started thinking of little bits that snowballed into themes and sets, and then midway through the year, I said, ‘I don’t want to make another movie this year, I want to go back and hit some of the places I didn’t hit on the last tour.’ “

Cook said people coming to Sunday’s show should expect him to be “sillier, lighter, absurd” in his observational humor.

“I have a lot of joy in my life now, and I think that shows up in the work,” he said. “I called it ‘Dane Cook Live!’ because I think of this show as sort of one of those Vegas Rat Pack shows.”

Known for physical energy on stage and clever word play, Cook’s popularity cuts across a wide array of media platforms. His film “Employee of the Month” made $30 million at the box office, then topped the DVD sales charts. Several of his CD/DVD releases have appeared on the Billboard record charts, and he’s hosted a season premiere of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” a real coup for comics.

And although he’s touring now, Cook has at least three films coming out in the next year or so. One is a crime thriller called “Guns, Girls and Gambling” with Gary Oldman and Christian Slater. Another is “Detention,” a horror comedy in which Cook might be the best-known cast member.

And there’s “Answers to Nothing,” a straight mystery drama with Elizabeth Mitchell and Julie Benz.

“Doing a straight drama works a different muscle for me, but I like to be afraid and have a little fear in whatever I do,” he said. “I can’t just walk on set and do the same thing every time, like Elvis movies. That would bore me to death.” 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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