From his early days on “Saturday Night Live” to his first standup special “Bring the Pain” and next a history-making live event on Netflix, Chris Rock’s comedy has been shaping popular culture for more than three decades.
On Saturday, Rock’s latest special, “Selective Outrage,” will mark the first global live event to stream on Netflix. A teaser trailer for the special shows Rock sitting in a dressing room when he gets a knock at the door, announcing, “Chris, they’re ready for you.”
In anticipation for the main event, here are five times Rock was at his funniest.
‘Bigger & Blacker’ (1999)
Rock tackles several big topics like racism and gun control in this special, released not long after the Columbine massacre.
He talked about firearms and ammunition being too accessible and suggested a solution.
“If a bullet cost $5,000, there’d be no more innocent bystanders,” Rock said.
Election night sketch on ‘Saturday Night Live’ (2016)
Rock appeared as a castmember on “SNL” from 1990 to 1993 and has hosted the show three times since. In 2016, just after Donald Trump was elected US president, Rock made a surprise appearance in a sketch alongside the night’s host, Dave Chappelle.
The two attended an election night party in the skit, where a group of White guests made comments about how shocked they were at the results of the presidential election.
Rock and Chappelle are shocked the guests had been so ignorant.
‘Late Show with David Letterman’ appearance (2010)
Rock appeared on the talk show many times, but a 2010 appearance stands out. At the time, Letterman was recovering from a public scandal after admitting he had been in intimate relationships with some female staffers. The host was under the weather and losing his voice, so Rock asked him why he hadn’t taken a few days off.
“Wife still mad at ya, ain’t she?” Rock joked. “Why drive back to Connecticut to a mean woman? ‘I may as well just stay here and do the show with no voice.’ I love ya honey. I been there, Dave. I do get sick on the road. And if my wife is mad at me I add a few shows.”
He admits to his own faults (2018)
In his special “Tamborine,” Rock got real about his divorce from Malaak Compton-Rock, admitting in his set, “I was not a good husband.”
He went on to explain why.
“When you’re in a relationship, you’re in a band,” Rock said. “And when you’re in a band, you have roles that you play in the band. Sometimes you sing lead and sometimes you’re on tambourine. And if you’re on tambourine, play it right … ‘cause nobody wants to see a mad tambourine player.”
O.J. Simpson (1996)
Rock’s 1996 special “Bring the Pain” shot him to fame.
He talked about the O.J. Simpson trial.
“Black people too happy, White people too mad,” Rock said of Simpson’s acquittal. “I haven’t seen White people that mad since they canceled “M*A*S*H.”
“That s— was about fame. If O.J. wasn’t famous, he’d be in jail right now,” Rock said. “If O.J. drove a bus, he wouldn’t even be O.J. He’d be Orenthal, the Bus Driving Murderer.”
Chris Rock “Selective Outrage” streams March 4, at 10 p.m. ET on Netflix.