Bigger and Blacker
"I'm not a superstar. Jim Carrey makes $20 million a movie. I make a weird face when they tell me. I have to pay $8.50 to see one." Chris Rock
Comedian Chris Rock was widely recognized as a regular on “Saturday Night Live” (1990-1993) and "In Living Color" (1993-1994). He was also the host of his own television show on HBO titled “The Chris Rock Show” (1996). The star of the rap spoof CB4 (1993, Chris Rock also co-wrote and co-produced), he later received praise for his comedy specials, the HBO “Chris Rock: Bring the Pain” (1996, won Emmys) and “Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker” (1999, nominated for an Emmy, won a Grammy) as well as the spoken comedy album Roll With the New (1997, also won a Grammy).
Chris Rock, who debuted in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), also appeared in films like I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), Nurse Betty (2000), Down to Earth (2001), Pootie Tang (2001), Osmosis Jones (2001, voice) and Bad Company (2002). He directed, wrote, produced and starred in 2003’s Head of State and recently played roles in The Longest Yard, The Aristocrats, and lent his voice to the animated movie Madagascar.
The 5' 11" tall actor-comedian does commercials for 1-800 Collect and Nike, and covered the presidential campaign for the show "Politically Incorrect.” He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2003 and was one of Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time (April 2004). The Funniest Man in America, according to Entertainment Weekly (March 2004), Chris Rock was selected to host the esteemed 77th Annual Academy Awards on February 27th, 2005. As for his future project, Chris Rock will premiere a comedy series called “Everybody Hates Chris” on UPN in the fall of 2005.
Childhood and Family:
"It's my real name. My mother's name is Rose Rock. It was the worst name as a kid to have. They called me Piece of the Rock, Plymouth Rock, Joe Rockid, and Flintstones. Now they call me MISTER Rock." Chris Rock
The oldest child of parents Julius Rock (truck driver; died in 1989) and Rose Rock (teacher), Chris Rock was born on February 7, 1965, in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, along with his younger siblings, including stand-up comic Tony Rock. Chris Rock attended Stuyvesant High School, where he was president of the chess team and the Black Students League. He dropped out of school and later earned a GED.
In 1993, Chris Rock met publicist Malaak Compton. The couple exchanged wedding vows on November 23, 1996, and has two daughters: Lola Simone (born on June 28, 2002, in New York City) and Zahra Savannah (born on May 22, 2004). Chris Rock maintains his residence in Brooklyn, New York.
The Chris Rock Show
Performing in New York City comedy clubs by the age 17, Chris Rock was spotted by veteran comedian Eddie Murphy while performing at the New York Comedy Strip. Impressed by Chris Rock’s wit, Murphy later handed Rock a bit part as a playboy mansion valet in Murphy’s vehicle 1987 movie, Beverly Hills Cop II. That same year, Rock made his early TV appearance on the HBO special "Uptown Comedy Express" and was spotted as a guest in an episode of "Miami Vice." The next year, he was cast in Keenan Ivory Wayans’ I’m Gonna Get You Sucka.
1990 was Chris’ breakout year. He became a featured player on NBC’s popular "Saturday Night Live" from 1990 to 1992 and subsequently became a regular during the 1992-1993 seasons. During his stint in the show, Rock was also seen in motion pictures. He costarred as drug addicted informant Pookie in Mario Van Peebles’ feature New Jack City (1991) and reunited with Eddie Murphy in Boomerang (1992). He also released his first comedy album, Born Suspect, in 1991. On the small screen, Chris Rock left "Saturday Night Live" after the 1993 season and joined the cast of the Fox variety series "In Living Color" for nine episodes (1993-1994).
Chris Rock co-wrote, co-produced and starred in the gangster rap world spoof CB4 in 1993 and headlined the special "HBO Comedy Half-Hour: Chris Rock -- Big Ass Jokes" in 1994. He was cast in the 1995 TV series "The Moxy Show" and "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child" (voice) as well as in the big screen The Immortals and Panther. The following year, Chris Rock made his first appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show" and began doing TV commercials for 1-800-CALL-ATT and lending his voice for the puppet Li'l Penney for Nike. He also appeared in the 1996 comedy Sgt. Bilko.
The real breakthrough arrived in 1996 when Chris Rock co-wrote, co-executive produced and starred in the HBO’s Emmy-winning comedy special "Chris Rock: Bring the Pain." He took home an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program. Chris also received an Emmy nomination for writing "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" (Comedy Central) and began executive producing, writing and starring in the HBO talk show "The Chris Rock Show," which handed him another Emmy for writing.
Chris Rock released another comedy album titled “Roll With the New” in 1997 which won a Grammy. He hosted the "MTV Music Video Awards" in 1997 and in 1999, and played roles in Beverly Hills Ninja (1997) and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998). The latter earned Chris a Blockbuster Entertainment award for Favorite Supporting Actor - Action/Adventure. Chris then provided his voice for Doctor Dolittle (1998, starring Eddie Murphy) and played the 13th apostle Rufus in Kevin Smith's Dogma (1999, with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Salma Hayek). In 1998, he became an executive producer for the sitcom "The Hughleys" (ABC, 1998-2000; UPN, 2000- ).
The second solo HBO comedy special, "Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker," arrived in 1999 and earned Chris Rock an American Comedy award for Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network, Cable or Syndication. That same year, he also released the comedy album Bigger & Blacker and won a Grammy.
Costarring with Morgan Freeman and Renee Zellweger, Chris Rock was seen as hitman Wesley in Neil LaBute's comedy Nurse Betty (2000, screened at the Cannes) and won his first movie-lead role in Down to Earth (2001, also wrote and produced). After lending his voice to Artificial Intelligence: AI, Chris co-wrote, produced and co-starred in Pootie Tang, which was adopted from a character created in one of his HBO specials. He then provided his voice to the title role in Osmosis Jones (with David Hyde Pierce and Bill Murray) and appeared in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (both in 2001).
After costarring In 2002’s action comedy Bad Company (opposite Gene Hackman and Anthony Hopkins), Chris made his feature directorial debut with Head of State (2003, also starred and co-wrote the screenplay). After a cameo role in Paparazzi (2004), Chris was cast in The Longest Yard and lent his voice to the animated Madagascar (both in 2005).
Recently, Chris released the comedy album Never Scared (2005), and reportedly will premiere “Everybody Hates Chris,” a comedy series about Rock's high school days, on UPN in the fall of 2005. He is also scheduled to work on the upcoming films Sick Day, The Gilmores of Beverly Hills, and an Untitled Brett Ratner Project.
“Hollywood's just not funny. You walk around and think 'Where's the funny at?' It's not there - all there is a bunch of directors and actors walking around. I like going into a diner and meeting real people. Funny is where the real people are.” Chris Rock
ShoWest Convention: Special Award - Comedy Star of the Year, 2001
American Comedy: Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network, Cable or Syndication, Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker, 2000
Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Supporting Actor - Action/Adventure, Lethal Weapon 4, 1999
Grammy: Spoken Comedy Album, Bigger & Blacker, 1999
Emmy: Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program, The Chris Rock Show, 1999
Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special, Chris Rock: Bring the Pain, 1997
Emmy: Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program, Chris Rock: Bring the Pain, 1997
CableACE: Variety Special or Series, The Chris Rock Show Number One; award shared, 1997
CableACE: Entertainment Host, The Chris Rock Show, 1997
Grammy: Spoken Comedy Album, Roll with the New, 1997