“We Lost Robin, We Lost Joan, And We Kind Of Lost Cosby”: Chris Rock Talks Bill Cosby, Obama, And His Daughters Preferring Kevin Hart
In the new issue of The New Yorker (which he covers), Chris Rock talks in depth about the struggle to be as funny as he wants to be in a politically correct-obsessed culture, fatherhood, the suicide of Robin Williams (and the dark sides of comedians), the ups and downs of Obama’s presidency, and of course, the accusations against Bill Cosby. There are quite a few great quotes as the Top Five (movie out on Friday, and it’s hilarious!) star has always been deep and hilarious at the same time, but these are the tidbits that stuck out to us the most:
Criticism Over His Jokes About Not Wanting To Visit The One World Trade Center After 9/11 And Political Correctness:
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.
Which Comedian Gave Him A Hard Time When He First Came Out:
I mean, maybe Cosby early on, but he turned pretty quick. Other than that, nobody.
His Thoughts On The Allegations Against Bill Cosby:
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.
What He Thought About Robin Williams’ Suicide:
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 sh*t, which is a trait of schizophrenics too. You notice things people don’t notice.
You try to give yourself other things to focus on. I always say, my children saved me from my miserable self.
His Thoughts On President Obama’s Legacy:
I’m trying to figure out the right analogy. Everybody wanted Michael Jordan, right? We got Shaq. That’s not a disappointment. You know what I mean? We got Charles Barkley. It’s still a Hall of Fame career. The president should be graded on jobs and peace, and the other stuff is debatable. Do more people have jobs, and is there more peace? I guess there’s a little more peace. Not as much peace as we’d like, but I mean, that’s kind of the gig. I don’t recall anybody leaving on an up. It’s just that kind of job. I mean, the liberals that are against him feel let down because he’s not Bush. And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean?
He’s the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy. He’s kind of Les Moonves. He’s trying to get everybody. And I think he’s figured out, and maybe a little late, that there’s some people he’s never going to get.
There’s an advantage that Bush had that Obama doesn’t have. People thinking you’re dumb is an advantage. Obama started as a genius. It’s like, What? I’ve got to keep doing that? That’s hard to do! So it’s not that Obama’s disappointing. It’s just his best album might have been his first album.
If There Has Been Much Change In Race Relations:
There’s always going to be people that don’t know that the war’s over. I’m more optimistic than you, but maybe it’s because I live the way I do. I just have a great life, so it’s easier for me to say things are great. But not even me. My brothers drive trucks and stock shelves. They live in a much better world than my father did. My mother tells stories of growing up in Andrews, South Carolina, and the black people had to go to the vet to get their teeth pulled out. And you still had to go to the back door, because if the white people knew the vet had used his instruments on black people, they wouldn’t take their pets to the vet. This is not some person I read about. This is my mother.
If His Daughters Find Him Funny:
Sometimes. My daughter Lola was like, “Kevin Hart’s funnier than you.”
Be sure to read Rock’s full interview with The New Yorker here and share your thoughts, and be sure to check out the new movie, Top Five, written and directed by Rock, out on Friday.