Dane Cook has refused to apologise for poking fun at Vanessa Hudgens' nude photo scandal at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (09Aug09).
The comedian was booed by the hundreds of young fans at the ceremony as he presented the Choice Hottie prizes by quipping, "Vanessa Hudgens, girl, you got to keep your clothes on! Phones are for phone calls, girl!"
The High School Musical star, who was in the audience, found herself at the centre of controversy last week (ends07Aug09) when a new set of explicit photos leaked online, after her previous 2007 picture scandal.
But after the show, Cook defended his joke, insisting he was simply voicing what nobody else dared to talk about.
He told Access Hollywood, "I planned it about 20 minutes before I went out there. (I said it) because I like to be on the cusp of fear.
"Mostly I just wanted it to be funny. That's the best part about being a comic, when you go, 'Maybe I can say the thing that everybody is kind of feeling and nobody (is saying).' The elephant-in-the-room (awkward) moment. So, I'll take it, I'll take the hit. It's okay."
The 2009 Teen Choice Awards are scheduled to air in the U.S. on Tuesday (11Aug09) but TV bosses have not yet announced whether Dane's remark will be kept in the broadcast's final edit.
Lawyers for Hudgens sent cease and desist notices to various blog websites immediately after the latest topless snaps hit the web, demanding the removal of the raunchy images amid fears she was underage when the shots were taken.
In 2007, pictures taken of Hudgens posing provocatively both nude and in lingerie appeared online - forcing the Disney star to issue a public apology.