Chris Rock Talks Race In America, The Death Of Robin Williams & How Social Media Has Affected The Laughter

In case you may have forgotten, iconic funny man Chris Rock proved years ago that he’s Never Scared, easily earning himself a seat at the table of comedic greats by tackling everything from race to political satire. In anticipation of his upcoming film Top Five (December 5,) he sat down for a hilariously insightful interview with New York Magazine to speak on America’s complicated history with race, fellow comedians Bill Cosby and Robin Williams and how Social Media has played a part in changing the industry.

Discussing ‘Race in America’ he touched on the lack of real progress that’s been made:

“… the thing is, we treat racism in this country like it’s a style that America went through. Like flared legs and lava lamps. Oh, that crazy thing we did. We were hanging black people. We treat it like a fad instead of a disease that eradicates millions of people. You’ve got to get it at a lab, and study it, and see its origins, and see what it’s immune to and what breaks it down.”

“When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.”

“Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. 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.”

Speaking on the impact of Obama’s presidency:

“ 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.”

“I always say (Obama’s) cooler than most politicians, not as cool as actual cool people. He’s not cool like Jay Z’s cool. He’s not Eddie Murphy. But in a world of politicians…”

He also revealed how Social Media has affected the industry:

“I know Dave Chappelle bans everybody’s phone when he plays a club. I haven’t gone that far, but I may have to, to get an act together for a tour.”

“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… can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched.”

His thoughts on the passing of Robin Williams and the ongoing controversy surrounding Bill Cosby:

“Comedians kill themselves. Talk to 100 comedians this week, everybody knows somebody who killed themselves. I mean, we always say ignorance is bliss. Well, if so, what’s the opposite? Some form of misery. Being a comedian, 80 percent of the job is just you notice shit, which is a trait of schizophrenics too. You notice things people don’t notice.”

“I don’t know what to say. What do you say? I hope it’s not true,” he said. “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.”

Read the entire interview in full at

#InCaseYouMissedIt: Chris sits down with Sway to talk about the possibility of directing another CB4 film

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