“When you tell a joke and everybody laughs, it’s not cause they disagree with what your saying. They get it.” -Chris Rock
Laughter is something triggered in our subconscious minds as a way of bonding and connecting with other people. It’s almost a universal “I get you” – and who hasn’t chuckled themselves through an embarrassing situation, brow sweating until it was over?
Chris Rock is one of my favorite Americans. As someone who values rebellious voices, Chris Rock is not only one of the loudest, he is one of the most concise and straightforward. No innuendoes, just honest observation. I can imagine him sitting back and marveling at how he has built a career on just “telling it like it is.” Of all the comedians and actors in showbiz, I think Chris Rock would be the most honest in a self-parody of themselves.
Speaking on Politics & Social Issues
On political parties and left and right wing extremists: “No normal decent person is one thing.”
On whatever happened to people just being crazy?: “The trenchcoat mafia…no one would play with us, we had no friends, we’re trenchcoat mafia. Hey, I saw the yearbookpicture, there was six of them. I didn’t have six friends in high school. I don’t have six friends now.”
On Obama: “Is America ready for a regular black guy to be president? Hell [expletive] no. But, is America ready for this extraordinary genius, charismatic guy…”
On the state of race relations between black people and the police in 1988: “So I hate life. Want to know why I hate life? Because I was born a suspect.”
We Can’t Be Just One Thing
I think, even if it’s subconsciously, Chris Rock sets a good example for other Hollywood stars. The reality of fame in our society is that people get famous because their personality exhibits something different. What happens though is that they end up becoming the cartoon version of that trait. There’s no balance – only the presumption that to maintain their status, they must give more of the same, only bigger and badder. I think an underlying theme of Chris Rock’s comedy has been people cannot be just one thing. I appreciate how he handles himself away from the stage, the “real Chris”, as well as how he transforms into his alter ego during routines.
I can see why so many other entertainers admire him. I feel as if he is the “one” that is idolized in the entertainment world by his peers. Certain tappers are always talking about themselves being a “rapper’s rapper” – the one whom those that share their craft are checking for. I think Chris is the comedian’s comedian – the entertainer’s entertainer, the celebrity’s celebrity. They all envy how he can thrive in an industry, with his own brand, and still speak his mind and say what they wish they could see, but don’t – for whatever reason, the fear of losing endorsements, fear of losing fans, fear of losing revenue, fear of losing stock in the celebrity world.
Chris Rock is the middle finger to the preppy, popular kid in school. The coolest is the one’s who don’t need to say their cool. The one’s who don’t even need to entertain the notion, because they know it’s irrelevant.
Satirical miracle? Or…Chris Rock, what’s wrong with his head, Doc?
Raunchy in the nth degree, perhaps just another example in his lifelong statement that he gets it, and he’s going to do his best to tell you about it. For your own good. I love how he deals with the media. I love the satirical tone. Too many people claim sarcasm nowadays, not knowing while satire and sarcasm are both mocking something, only one’s goal is to improve the situation brought up. Chris Rock can be borderline self deprecating, and in fact – it’s almost societal deprecation. But, he includes himself in that grab bag, too. it’s not an elitist commenting, passing judgment, criticizing, patronizing, celebrating societal woes, pointing the finger. He is more like a next door neighbor, talking about his week in our country, on what’s in the headlines, on things that piss him off, and things that make him laugh, just talking about it with his neighbor, standing by their property lines, cold beer in hand, almost reminiscent of the guys from King of the Hill. And he just might happen to say it like you’re running the lawnmower right next to him.
On rap music degrading women: “Women that like rap don’t care what they saying, if the beats all right, she will dance all night.”
On the difference between rich and wealthy: “Rich is something you can lose with a crazy summer and a drug habit.”
Unafraid to host the Oscars and tell the truth: “See at least they make movies for white people to enjoy, real movies with plots, with actors, not rappers. With real names…like, say “Catch Me If You Can”, “Saving Private Ryan”. Black movies don’t have real names. We get names like “Barbershop.” That’s not a name, that’s just a location. “Barbershop”, “The Cookout”, “The Carwash”…they been making the same movie for 40 years.”
On government backing of the pharmaceuticals industry: “They don’t want you to use your drugs, they want you to use their drugs.”
See Part 2.