Chris Rock’s stand-up comedy is a major reason why I started paying attention to politics and just the news period, so reading his interview in New York Magazine yesterday was like chocolate to a fat kid for me.
Last week i got to listen to talk hip-hop on Hot97 and today I got to hear Rock talk politics, Awesome! Comedians tend to make politics less boring like Bill Mahr, Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart, but Chris Rock politics more like a conversation while telling jokes. In his interview which is pretty lengthy to say the least Rock talks about his new up and coming movie Top Five, The job Obama has done so far, The tragedy in Ferguson, Bill Cosby and favorite subject…. White People. Below are a few highlight quotes from the interview.
On new movie, Top Five:
I mean, you care, but suppose, what, the movie makes a billion dollars? It’s not going to affect my day with my kids. If it makes two cents, it’s not going to affect my day with my kids. Fine, the movie comes out Friday, Saturday I will take Zahra to gymnastics. I hope Annie’s out. We’ll go see Annie.
On Bill Cosby:
I don’t know what to say. What do you say? I hope it’s not true. That’s all you can say. I really do. I grew up on Cosby. I love Cosby, and I just hope it’s not true. It’s a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby.
On political correctness in comedy:
It is scary, because the thing about comedians is that you’re the only ones who practice in front of a crowd. Prince doesn’t run a demo on the radio. But in stand-up, the demo gets out. There are a few guys good enough to write a perfect act and get onstage, but everybody else workshops it and workshops it, and it can get real messy. It can get downright offensive. Before everyone had a recording device and was wired like fucking Sammy the Bull,4 you’d say something that went too far, and you’d go, “Oh, I went too far,” and you would just brush it off. But if you think you don’t have room to make mistakes, it’s going to lead to safer, gooier stand-up. You can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched.
On Bush versus Obama:
There’s an advantage that Bush had that Obama doesn’t have. People thinking you’re dumb is an advantage. Obama started as a genius. It’s like, ‘What? I’ve got to keep doing that? That’s hard to do!’ So it’s not that Obama’s disappointing. It’s just his best album might have been his first album.
On the concept of “racial progress”:
To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before. So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people. Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.
On being black and rich in America:
As I told Bill Murray, ‘Lost in Translation’ is a black movie: That’s what it feels like to be black and rich. Not in the sense that people are being mean to you. Bill Murray’s in Tokyo, and it’s just weird. He seems kind of isolated. He’s always around Japanese people. Look at me right now.