No matter your opinion of Chris Rock’s recent episode of SNL, particularly in regard to his much-discussed monologue, you have to admit one thing: at least he didn’t sing a goddamn song. I’d take a million 9/11 jokes over a single singing-and-dancing monologue. Anyway, Rock recently chatted with New York‘s Frank Rich about not only his SNL appearance…
You recently hosted SNL, and in the monologue, where you were talking about the opening of One World Trade, my wife and I both felt just like you: No way are we going into that building. But you look online the next morning, and some people were offended2and accused you of disparaging the 9/11 victims. The political correctness that was thought to be dead is now—
Oh, it’s back stronger than ever. I don’t pay that much attention to it. I mean, you don’t want to piss off the people that are paying you, obviously, but otherwise I’ve just been really good at ignoring it. Honestly, it’s not that people were offended by what I said. They get offended by how much fun I appear to be having while saying it. You could literally take everything I said on Saturday night and say it on Meet the Press, and it would be a general debate, and it would go away. But half of it’s because they think they can hurt comedians.
…but the worst crowd he ever performed in front of (surprisingly, the answer wasn’t, “Everyone who paid to see What to Expect When You’re Expecting“)…
What is the worst audience you’ve ever played to?
I had a really bad show in Biloxi, Mississippi. That sounds so cliché. Last tour, Obama was running, and I was doing all my stuff, and it was hostile.
Was the audience black, white, mixed?
Probably more white than black. A few thousand seats. Playing a casino.
Always a problem, I suppose.
Especially on a Friday night. Friday-night second show’s the worst because they’ve been drinking since they got off work. We definitely were like, “Wow. Let’s drive to another town. We should not sleep here.” (Via)
…and Bill Cosby.
What do you make of what’s happening to Cosby now?
I don’t know what to say. What do you say? I hope it’s not true. 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. (Via)
Read the rest of the interview, especially the section about Obama, over at Vulture.