A stand-up comedian, actor and producer, Chris Rock (born February 7, 1965) is generally considered to be the successor to Richard Pryor
as the most prominent black comedic actor and stand-up. He got his break on Saturday Night Live
in 1990 and left in 1993 (in protest over the lack of good roles on the show, though he had a memorable recurring character [militant black talk show host Nat X] and did do his share of celebrity impressions, like Arsenio Hall, Flava Flav, M.C. Hammer, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Jackson, Luther Campbell from 2 Live Crew, and porn star Long Dong Silver) and became a frequent guest star on In Living Color!
during its final season
as his character Cheap Pete from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
He really broke into the mainstream with his second HBO
stand-up show Bring The Pain
in 1996, and, in particular, his controversial assessment of the state of black America: 'Niggas versus Black People'. This led to the successful late night comedy talk show The Chris Rock Show
, which aired on HBO from 1997-2000. Several more acclaimed stand-up tours have followed as have numerous film roles and a sitcom based on his childhood
Tropes associated with Chris Rock:
- Angry Black Man: He seems to be this in his early stand up years but has changed. He has played a Malcolm Xerox character on SNL named Nat X who had his own militant talk show (The Dark Side with Nat X). In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back he played a Malcolm Xerox film director.
- Awful Wedded Life: "I haven't had pussy in seven years! I've had vagina; I hate vagina! I was born out of a vagina! First thing I said was 'Man, I gotta get me some pussy!"
- Badass Preacher: Rock's paternal Grandfather was a preacher and taxi driver who, according to Chris' brother Tony, actually shot and killed a man who was trespassing on his property. And then did the man's funeral the very next week. Chris has cited his grandfather as an influence on his work.
- Black and Nerdy
- Black Comedy: Once joked about going to pro-choice rallies to pick up women. "You won't find no virgins at an abortion rally. You might even see some clear heels!"
- Book Dumb: Dropped out of school, but did get a GED ("Good Enough Diploma").
- His "Black People vs. Niggas" routine mentions that he hates that "niggas" not only don't read but are proud of the fact, and that a book is "like Kryptonite to a nigga".
- Bumbling Dad / Dude, Where's My Respect?: Attacks the lack of respect "real dads" get.
- He also points out that simply raising one's children should not be treated as revolutionary. "What do you mean you take care of your kids?! You're supposed to take care of your kids you low ambition-having motherfucker!"
- Catchphrase: "Yeah, I said it!"
- Celebrity Voice Actor: There's no mistaking his distinctive voice when he lends his vocals in animated shows like King of the Hill, The Moxy Show, and ChalkZone, and he played a Jiminy Cricket Expy in the Pinocchio episode of HBO's Happily Ever After Fairy Tales For Every Child. He also played the title character in Osmosis Jones, Mooseblood the Mosquito in Bee Movie, Rodney the Guinea Pig in Dr. Dolittle, and a Zebra named Marty in the Madagascar film series. Also discussed the trope itself in a monologue from the 2012 Oscars that ruffled the feathers of several rank-and-file voice actors.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Joked in 2004 that Bush was trying to distract us from the war in Iraq by making news stories that the media would cover. He was the one who sent the girl to Kobe Bryant's hotel room, he killed Laci Peterson, he sent the little boy to Michael Jackson's house, and he made Paris Hilton's sex tape.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Described Michael Jackson as this in Never Scared.
: I saw Michael on 60 Minutes
, Ed Bradley tried his best to make Michael look like a mammal
. Like somebody that drank water and breathed air, right? He gave Michael the easiest questions in the world, the easiest GED questions in the world, and Michael could not pass the test.
- Double Standard: Frequently discusses these between races and genders.
- Everything Is Racist
- "Freaky Friday" Flip : In the film Down To Earth. Much of the comedy is derived from examining race and class conflicts.
- Henpecked Husband: Thinks married men become their wives' pets.
- The Hyena
- I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: On Bill Clinton's extra-martial affair: "A man is basically as faithful as his options!"
- Repeated when Chris derides claims of "I would never do such a thing!" from men not in the same position as Tiger Woods.
- Informed Loner: Mocks the Columbine gunmen and the 'Trenchcoat Mafia': "I saw the yearbook picture. There was six of them! I ain't have six friends in high school, I don't have six friends now! That's three on three with a half court."
- Ink-Suit Actor: Marty the zebra from Madagascar looks a lot like his voice actor. At least insofar as it's possible for a zebra to look like a human being...
- Large Ham
- Mistaken for Dying: He says that when he got tested for HIV, he had to wait 5 days. He spent those days thinking about all the nasty stuff that he's done ("I'm Itchy, the stripper from Miami") and then calls up those women to see if they're still alive (to make sure they didn't die of AIDS): 'Hi, can I speak to Tammy.' 'Tammy died. She got hit by a bus.' 'Thank the Lord!'
- Mr. Fanservice: Although considerably rare among male stand-up comedians, he's had his fair share of admirers.
Female Audience Member: I love you!
Chris: I like you!
- Motor Mouth
- N-Word Privileges: Does a whole routine explaining when it would acceptable for non-blacks to use the n-word. Long story short - only under very specific circumstances, with a police report.
- He's also outlined the "Dr Dre rules," where white people are allowed to say the n-word if they're singing along with a rap song, because "they lean into that shit" when they're on their own.
- Though he eventually retired his "Niggas vs Black People" rant when too many actual racists used it to justify themselves.
- No Indoor Voice
- One True Love: He argues that this rarely happens, and when it does, it's the wrong time/situation. You're married and they're single, you're Jewish and they're Palestinian, or you're a black woman and he's a black man.
- Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers: In Never Scared, Chris humorously criticizes Kobe Bryant for not getting a lawyer when he was accused of sexual harassment in 2003.
Chris: What is on Kobe's mind? Going to Colorado, around all these white people, and not bringing Johnnie Cochran? Well then they say, "Well if he hires Johnnie Cochran, he's going to look guilty." "Yeah, but you get to go home! You want to look innocent in jail? I'd rather look guilty at the mall".
- Patriotic Fervor: Discussed in Never Scared. He discusses how after 9/11 and at the start of the Iraq War, Americans were extremely patriotic, and there was "accepted racism" towards French and Arabs.
Chris: Then they went to, "I'm American, I'm American, fuck all these illegal aliens." Then I started listening, 'cause I know niggas and Jews is next.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: In Never Scared, he calls magician David Blaine "a trickless magician".
Chris: Are we so desperate for entertainment that we fall for a trickless magician? Where the fuck's the trick!? Cut a lady in half, pull a rabbit out a hat, do something! What was his last trick? "I'm in a box, and I ain't gonna eat!". "I'm in a box, and I ain't gonna eat"? That ain't no trick, that's called "living in the projects"!.
- Playing Against Type: In Nurse Betty were he played a Hitman named Wesley. Still a comedic (albeit dark) role, but the only time he played a villain.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Detective Lee Butters in Lethal Weapon 4 and the Guiena pig Rodney in Dr. Dolittle.
- Poor Man's Porn: In his book Rock This!, he talks about how his mother once threw away his porn collection when he was a kid, forcing him to get off on anything remotely female, and comes across a box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix. And just when he starts picturing Aunt Jemima as young and attractive, Uncle Ben jumps off a box of rice and says "Quit lookin' at my woman!"
- Porn Stash: Every man's got one. "Not an illegal amount, just enough to get you by".
- Prison Rape: Invoked when talking about an HBO jail special.
- Racist Grandma: He says that the most racist people are old black men, because they've lived through real racism. "Fuck that 'I can't get a cab' bullshit, old black men were the fucking cab! A white man would just hop on their back and say 'Fifth and Broadway!'"
- Raised by Grandparents: Discussed: "If the kid calls his grandmama 'Mommy' and his mama 'Pam', then he's going to jail".
- The Red Stapler: Invoked when talking about CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Chris suggests that many Americans would've murdered their spouses and buried them in the back yard... except for watching CSI: "Man, they're thorough! I'd better make up, they might catch my ass!"
- Running Gag: Dropping the mic at the end of his comedy routines.
- Sick and Wrong: When talking about strip clubs, and not wanting to be the kind of person who's there so much that he eats the food. "Who the fuck eats the food at a nasty-ass strip club? Are you THAT hungry?!"
- Sit Comic: Everybody Hates Chris. Quite a few of the jokes come straight from his special Bigger and Blacker.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: One of the main points of 'Black People vs. Niggas'; everything white people don't like about black people, black people really don't like about black people. Chris retired the bit when he realized racists were taking it as an excuse.
- The Stoner: Played a crackhead in New Jack City.
- Third-Person Person
- Where Da White Women At??: Mentions that even a plain-looking white woman can find a black man, but black women will never date an unattractive white guy.
- White Wife, Black Wife: Discussing Barack Obama's first lady, Chris says that Obama cannot be president unless he has a white wife because a black wife would be too controlling.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Played straight, but only after saying that "Nobody's above an ass-whooping".
- He would also shake a girl to calm her down, as seen in Bring The Pain.