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Former Saturday Night Live castmember Chris Rock has appeared in such films as Bad Company and is the creator of the television show Everybody Hates Chris.
Actress-Director Rain Pryor talks about how her father Richard Pryor was a comedy pioneer with his raw stand-up performances and honest critiques of race.
Chris Rock talks about being encouraged and helped by Eddie Murphy.
Actress-Director Rain Pryor talks about her father Richard Pryor's comedic influences including Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Gleason and Bill Cosby and the comedians who have been inspired by him like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Steve Harvey.
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Born February 7, 1965, in Andrews, South Carolina, Chris Rock grew up in Brooklyn. At age 18, he was discovered by Eddie Murphy at New York's Comedy Strip. He went on to appear in films and on Saturday Night Live, and soon released his first comedy album. His successes include an Emmy award-winning HBO special, two Grammy award-winning comedy albums, and the popular sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.
Comedian, actor. Born February 7, 1965 in Andrews, South Carolina. Rock is the eldest son of Julius Rock, a truck driver, and Rose Rock, a teacher. When Rock was a toddler his family relocated to Brooklyn, New York. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Brooklyn's notoriously tough Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
He attended a nearly all-white public school and, as a result, was subjected to discrimination at an early age. Rock's early bouts with racism greatly influenced his comedic material. Rock is most noted for his raw humor and has no qualms about making fun of all sexes and races. His uninhibited nature has earned him respect and praise from both white and African American communities.
At age 18, Rock was discovered by Eddie Murphy at New York's Comedy Strip. A small role in Murphy's Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) was Rock's film debut. Rock also starred in Keenan Ivory Wayans' I'm Gonna Get You Sucka (1988), which exploited racism in a comedic manner.
In 1990, Rock followed the footsteps of his idol, Eddie Murphy, by joining the cast of Saturday Night Live. A year later, he released his first comedy album, Born Suspect (1991). He also undertook the more dramatic role of playing Pookie, a drug addicted informant, in Mario Van Peebles' feature New Jack City (1991). After spending three seasons on SNL, Rock left to pursue other career opportunities. In 1993, Rock appeared on FOX's In Living Color for a handful of episodes prior to the shows cancellation.
1996 marked a turning point in Rock's career. His talents were recognized by HBO, and the cable network produced a comedy special starring Rock, titled Bring in the Pain. The comedian won two Emmy Awards and wide critical acclaim for the show. In 1997, Rock began hosting his own television show on the HBO Network, The Chris Rock Show, which earned him two CableACE awards. During this high point in his career, Rock also appeared in Sgt. Bilko (1996), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998). Recent films include Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), Bad Company (2002) costarring Anthony Hopkins, and the voice of Marty in DreamWorks’ Madagascar (2005).
Rock also received two Grammy Awards for his spoken comedy albums Roll With the New (1997) and Bigger and Blacker (1999). In 1999, he appeared in the irreverent big-screen comedy Dogma, alongside such hot young stars as Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Salma Hayek. He had another big screen role in 2000, playing a hit man in the black comedy Nurse Betty, starring Renee Zellweger.
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Learn more about the cast of Saturday Night Live, including old-timers such as John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and David Spade, as well as newer stars of the series, including Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Seth Meyers, Kate McKinnon, Molly Shannon and Kristen Wiig.
Cast of Saturday Night Live 47 people in this group
From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
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