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Posts tagged "chris rock"

Mar 17, 2013
You can only offend me if you mean something to me. You can’t break up with me if we didn’t date.

Dec 13, 2012

On not sucking mid-career and a batch of good Chris Rock interviews

These days I find myself drawn to reading the thoughts of people who are mid-career—not at the end of their careers, and not at the beginning, but in the middle, because I feel like that’s the period where you really have to keep up your stamina, keep chugging, keep working. You’re not necessarily hungry anymore — you might have a nice house, nice wife, couple of kids, a decent fan base, etc. People are over the excitement about your rise, and people aren’t splicing together the kiss-ass retrospective clip reels, either. Your best work may be behind you, may be in front of you, but you just don’t know. (Maybe this is always true.) I do this because, being not at starting line, but a few meters down the track, I’m just looking in awe at these people who keep running the marathon without burning out. (Not sure why my lazy, non-runner ass is using a running metaphor, but hey…)

Chris Rock strikes me as a mid-career guy who has his shit together, and whenever he has an interview published, I try to read it.

Judd Apatow interviewed him for the Vanity Fair comedy issue:

Was it more fun when you first started? If so, what the fuck are we supposed to do now?

Yes, it was more fun. First of all, you had three goals: (1) To get good at comedy. (2) To make money from comedy. And (3) to get laid from comedy. What do we do now? Well, people seem to think we’re good. We have money. We’re married, so the whole working to get laid thing is over. Sad to say, but we work now to maintain our lifestyles, to not suck, and to avoid Celebrity Apprentice.

In his Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, he talked about hanging out with his grandfather preacher:

I used to watch him write his sermons. He writes his sermons pretty much the same way I write my act. He would never write the exact sermon. He’d always write the bullet points, whatever would hit him, and he would write it when he was driving. And I probably come up with half of my standup when I’m driving…His preaching, it’s weird, it’s not a lot different than my style on stage…

When you grow up with a preacher, it’s almost like- it’s like seeing a magician stuff the rabbit in his side jacket. Like, I knew all the tricks… I don’t think he thought of it as tricks, but every job becomes a job, and you figure out shortcuts and you figure out, you know, ways around things…

A good sermon’s always great… these guys, they’re always - they have this task of coming up with a new - with new material every week. I like how a preacher can talk about one thing for an hour and 10 minutes. I keep trying to figure out how I can do that in stand-up. So, how I can, like, OK, how can I just be funny about, you know, jealousy? You know, a preacher will pick a topic and they’ll run with it for the whole sermon, like, and, you know, take you on a ride talking about literally one thing. And I just love that style. So I’m always - I’ve always been trying to figure out how do I do that in stand-up.

In this NYTimes Q&A, he talks about the itch to get back into comedy clubs (“I haven’t done any dirty work in a while”), but the near-impossible task of “workshopping” in the digital era:

When you’re workshopping it, a lot of stuff is bumpy and awkward. Especially when you’re working on the edge, you’re going to offend. A guy like Tosh, he’s at the Laugh Factory. He’s making no money. He’s essentially in the gym. You’re mad at Ray Leonard because he’s not in shape, in the gym? That’s what the gym’s for. The sad thing, with all this taping and stuff, no one’s going to do stand-up. And every big stand-up I talk to says: “How do I work out new material? Where can you go, if I have a half an idea and then it’s on the Internet next week?” Just look at some of my material. You can’t imagine how rough it was and how unfunny and how sexist or racist it might have seemed. “Niggas vs. Black People” probably took me six months to get that thing right. You know how racist that thing was a week in? That’s not to be seen by anybody.

Filed under: Chris Rock

Sep 28, 2011

Chris Rock, Bring The Pain (1996)

Oh man, this special. One of the best sets ever. Watched it with my wife last night, and we were laughing at this bit (which I tweeted out of context, and probably lost 50 followers):

"You gotta think about life in the long term. Now, people tell you life is short. No it’s not. Life is loooong. Especially if you make the wrong decisions! And in the long term, if I’m sick, is new pussy going to take care of me? No. If I’m hungry, is new pussy going to feed me? New pussy can’t cook!"

What’s really interesting is that this special was actually a comeback for Chris Rock. His career was on the downswing by 1994—he had quit Saturday Night Live in 1993 to go to In Living Color, which was cancelled in 1994. From a 2001 interview:

I was a has-been. So I figured if I’m not going to be famous, I can at least get really good, and get back to being the way I was before I met Eddie Murphy and saw the big houses and the girls.”

He went back to clubs for two years and honed his material, then taped this show at the Takoma Theatre in Washington, D.C.

One other interesting thing about the special: as he’s walking towards the stage, his favorite comedy albums are flashed on screen. As if he’s saying, “this is what I’m aiming for…”

A lot of the material was used for his CD, Roll With The New, which is where I first heard it when I was really young. But you have to see it on stage.

(Chris Rock is probably going to dominate my watching year 2011 list: I loved his documentary Good Hair, too.)

(Source: youtube.com)

Jun 30, 2011

Chris Rock: Job vs. Career

mlarson (via):

There ain’t enough time when you got a career. When you got a job, there’s too much time.


Apr 16, 2011

Good Hair (2009) featuring Chris Rock

My wife and I enjoyed the hell out of this documentary last night:

GOOD HAIR visits beauty salons and hairstyling battles, scientific laboratories and Indian temples to explore the way hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self–esteem of the black community.

Add it to your Netflix queue, you won’t be disappointed →

Paul Mooney Good Hair

If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed. if your hair is nappy, they’re not happy.
— Paul Mooney

(Source: youtube.com)

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