If you’re one of the many people who always got vague “creep” vibes from comedian Dane Cook, consider this a validation of your intuition!
For our younger readers and those who may have blocked it out of their memory for mental health reasons, Cook was the biggest thing in comedy circa 2004.
These days, Cook is mostly known for his tumultuous personal life, including the scandal in which the comic’s brother was imprisoned for stealing millions from him.
But don’t waste any tears on Dane Cook, because here comes the part about his creepy middle-aged antics:
Cook announced this week that he’s engaged to his girlfriend of five years, Kelsi Taylor.
Wonderful news, right?
Well, yeah … but any joy we might have experienced is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Cook is 50 and Taylor is 23 — and they’ve been dating for five years.
We’ll pause here so you have time to do the math and allow that wave of nausea to pass.
Yes, Dane and Kelsi started dating when he was 45 and she was 18 — or possibly 17, depending on exactly when they met.
Was it illegal?
Well, that depends on the state where all of this went down — but whatever the case, it’s more than a little icky.
Now, it sounds like Kelsi is overjoyed at the prospect of becoming Mrs. Dane Cook.
“I couldn’t have asked for the moment to have been more perfect. All that was going through my brain was, ‘Wait, is this actually happening right now? Is he proposing?’” Taylor told People magazine after accepting Dane’s proposal.
It’s great that she’s so happy, but it’s not hard to see why so many people are concerned on Kelsi’s behalf.
And the timeline of Dane and Kelsi’s relationship isn’t doing much to assuage those fears.
According to Buzzfeed, Kelsi once opened up about her first meeting with Dane during an Instagram Q&A.
“We met at a game night I host at my place. We were friends for a while and soon after fell in like with each other and then upgraded to love,” she said.
The site reports that Dane first popped up in a photo (above) at one of Kelsi’s game nights in October of 2016.
So the two kicked off their “friendship” when Dane was 44 and Kelsi was 17.
In case you were wondering, the age of consent in California is 18 — which is a random fact we decided to insert here for absolutely no reason.
The couple didn’t reveal that they were dating until May of 2017, when Kelsi was a newly-legal adult.
Only Dane and Kelsi will ever know for sure when their friendship became something more, but even if the whole thing was on the up-and-up from a legal standpoint, a man in his mid-forties befriending a teenager and later becoming romantically involved with her is undeniably gross.
Some might even call it grooming.
Every time the internet delves into a new round of age gap discourse, there’s always a comment from that one person whose spouse is decades older or younger than them, but who has been happily married for years.
That’s great — but this isn’t about the 26-year age gap so much as it’s about a grow-ass man launching an inappropriate relationship with a teenager.
We can guarantee you no one would be bothered if these two were 40 and 66.
As it is, Dane and Kelsi’s relationship might have been legal in its early days — but that doesn’t make it right.