February 7 ~  Something Profound Bigger and Blacker

"Doing something profound and personal is bigger than a fad." ~ Chris Rock

Chris Rock

Outrageous comic Chris Rock (1967- ) was born on this day in Georgetown, South Carolina. Rock grew up poor and was discovered by hero Eddie Murphy doing stand-up in a small New York club.

Rock called his gig at Saturday Night Live (1990-1993) "a golden time." The show's executive producer Lorne Michaels explained, "There's always one comic a whole generation imitates. Chris dominates... There's no one as good."

With an edgy, in-your-face stance, Rock moved on to motion pictures and his own Emmy-winning HBO show. He has a reputation for working hard and putting himself on the line. As creator and executive producer of the critically-hailed series Everybody Hates Chris, he explored his Brooklyn childhood. "I can't get away from my past. It sticks with you," he said.

"Chris' stuff is always smart," said friend Conan O'Brien. "He's thought out his jokes. There's no substitute for that."

His irreverent humor, bright observations, and ruthless vocabulary touch all controversial subjects, including relationships: "Women and relationships: easy to get into, hard to maintain, hard to get out of."

He's honest, with a big, roguish smile. He's likeable. Vanity Fair called him "the funniest man in America" and Comedy Central ranked him the fifth greatest comic, after Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and Woody Allen.

About those who criticize his raunchiness, Rock said, "Somebody should always be offended. Somebody in your life should always be like, 'Why did you have to do that?' Always. That's just being a real artist. That's the difference between Scorsese and Disney."

Value the profound.