A resurfaced video shows Chris Rock at his lowest moment and we’re all like “WTF Chris!”.
Recalling events from another lifetime, I’m embarrassed at the concession given to certain people under the guise of friendship. In college and in early adulthood friendships, male bonding with individuals of a certain aptitude considered toxic by contemporary standards seemed to be a right of passage as a man.
From crude table manners and random farts to the objectification of women, many men have bent over backward to justify or co-sign the behavior problematic friends if only for the fact that they were thought of as “cool” or “real”.
But with time comes wisdom, hopefully.
A 2011 clip of the HBO special Talking Funny has resurfaced that shows Chris Rock, Louis C.K. and Ricky Gervais gleefully slinging around the n-word.
The footage shows Rock telling Louis C.K. he’s the “blackest white guy I know.” To which C.K. responds: “You say I’m a n—–?”
Rock replies: “Yes, you are the n—–est (expletive) white man.” Rock, C.K. and fellow comedian Gervais burst out laughing, while a clearly uncomfortable Seinfeld interjects.
“I don’t think he can do that,” Seinfeld says, shaking his head. “I don’t think he has those qualities.” This year’s highest-paid comedian adds: “I wouldn’t use it anywhere.”
C.K. says that he and Rock both use the word onstage while Gervais chimes that he doesn’t use the derogatory term during comedy shows, but he does say the word during the conversation seen in the clip.
C.K. boasts that he and Gervais use the word in their personal life and both laugh.
“You found the humor of it,” Seinfeld tells C.K. “I haven’t found it, nor do I seek it.”
Major props to Jerry Seinfeld for stepping up and showing backbone. Secondly, Chris Rock’s refusal to immediately check both C.K. and Gervais, either jokingly or otherwise, is not a surprise.
As a comedian, Chris Rock has never hesitated to speak intelligently and humorously on a great number of societal topics from the perspective of an African-American man.
Just off that alone, his very success is controversial because of the sheer negritude. He also appears to revel in getting people riled up, as most comedians do.
Giving the license of usage to anyone, let alone a pig like Louis C.K, is bad in and of itself. The fact that Jerry Seinfeld had to school him on proper black decorum, is another thing entirely. Not only did he give C.K. license, he actually encouraged him to use it.
Rock likes to clown people on the regular, but he clearly clowned himself here. That’s what I thought when I originally saw the clip in 2011, that’s what I think today that it’s resurfaced due to social media CSI agents.
Outside of that framing, there are a great number of individuals within his fanbase that are throwing around another type of n-word this morning, one of the “house” variety. And while I cannot in good conscience join that chorus, I understand the sentiment.