“I live in a neighborhood so bad that you can get shot while getting shot.” — Chris Rock
Chris Rock is a perennial premise in the argument for “world’s funniest person.” He’s also one of the best comics of all-time and certainly the greatest of his generation.
Rock’s comedy routines are drawn from his own personal experiences. He also makes jokes about politics, fame, celebrities, relationships, and race. In fact, he’s quite famous for speaking candidly about race relations in the United States. Rock does works blue and frequently uses the “n-word” on stage, something that has drawn great criticism from comic Bill Cosby.
Rock was born February 7, 1965 in South Carolina, but grew up in Brooklyn. While in Brooklyn, Rock’s parents enrolled him in a predominately white school outside of his neighborhood where they believed he would receive a better education. Instead, he received a rather poor education and was the target of daily bullying.
Rock began his stand-up career in 1984 in New York City and quickly excelled. He was discovered by Eddie Murphy who took him under his wing and gave him a role in Beverley Hills Cop 2 (1987). Another of Rock’s early film roles came in the 1988 cult classic, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.
Rock became a Saturday Night Live cast member in 1990. Like many talented and hilarious individuals he floundered on SNL. Despite his struggles, Saturday Night Live gave Rock national exposure. He left the show in 1993.
After SNL, Rock found success in movies, television, stand-up, and Broadway. Rock starred in the films The Longest Yard, Bad Company, and Down to Earth. His several HBO comedy specials earned him three Emmy Awards. Meanwhile, his comedy albums have captured three Grammy Awards. In 2011, Rock appeared in the acclaimed stage play “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” which ran at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in Broadway.
Thanks to his appearance on the PBS show African American Lives 2, Rock learned that his great-great-grandfather was a slave for 21 years before fighting in the Civil War. Rock has two daughters.