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Chris Rock

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Chris Rock

Chris Rock (born February 7, 1965) is an African-American stand-up comedian and actor born in Georgetown, South Carolina. He grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York. He has been credited to have single-handedly saved stand-up from a diminished popularity.

He was a cast member of the popular sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live from 1990-1993. His 1996 stand-up special Bring the Pain established him as one of the hottest comedians in Hollywood. The controversy around his 1997 routine "Niggas vs Black People" helped his rise to stardom. In addition to acting, Rock has had three HBO comedy specials: Bring the Pain in 1996, Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker in 1999, and most recently, Never Scared in 2004. HBO also airs his talk show, The Chris Rock Show. Rock has starred in films since 1986.

His comedy typically involves race relations in the United States, although he devotes a large portion of his material to women. Though not directly based on it, a lot of his comedic views are rooted in his teen years; his very strict parents, concerned about the neighborhood schools had him bussed to an almost all-white high school in Bensonhurst (a white-ethnic neighborhood of Brooklyn that ironically was known at the time for poor race relations). In the fall of 2005, UPN is going to premiere a sitcom called Everyone Hates Chris that is based on Rock's high school days.

In 2005, Rock hosted the 77th Academy Awards. The decision to have Rock host the awards was seen by some to bring an 'edge' to the ceremony, and to make it more relevant or appealing to younger audiences. Some were worried that Rock's outspoken and often crude humour would tarnish the staid image of the awards, but in the end, his comedy ruffled few feathers among the audience and commentators.

Rock has been married to Malaak Compton-Rock since November 23, 1996. Malaak is the founder and executive director of StyleWorks, a non-profit, full-service salon that provides free services for women leaving welfare and entering the work force. The couple have two children together, Lola Simone (born June 28, 2002) and Zahra Savannah (born May 22, 2004).

He is sometimes confused with fellow African-American stand-up comedian and actor Chris Tucker.


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