The Hot Rock

Even though he's turned down such career-making opportunities, and in spite of his needling, brutally frank humor — hysterically showcased at the MTV awards — Rock has thrived. ''I remember going to dinner with Dolly Parton and Tony Danza right after [Pain] had aired. They thought it was hilarious,'' recalls producer Russell Simmons, whose Def Comedy Jam series has launched the careers of comedians such as Chris Tucker. ''[Rock] has been able to expound on the black experience in a way that's accessible to the mainstream.''

Further down the road, Rock hopes to direct and star in Nice Guys Finish Last, a romantic comedy he's just finished writing. (Simmons says he's interested in purchasing the project.) And this winter, the performer expects to release another album and cable special. ''The key is to never stop doing stand-up. Do a special and take what fruits come from it,'' says Rock. ''Just be a comedian — that's pretty much the plan.''


Some of Chris Rock's wit and wisdom from the MTV Video Music Awards.

''Don't make no plans [for] next year 'cause a lot of y'all ain't going to be here.... You know how it is in music: fickle. Here today, gone today.''

''The Spice Girls. Ten million records sold. I can't find one person that'll admit to buying one.''

''Martha Stewart [an award copresenter with rapper Busta Rhymes] looked real scared — like, 'Please, black man, don't kill me.'''

''That Fiona [Apple] was mad, huh? Fiona X was up here.''

''[Puff] Daddy, can you name four black videos that you're not in?... I was watching The Weather Channel — the damn Weather Channel! — they had Puffy in a high-pressure system.''

Originally posted Sep 19, 1997 Published in issue #397 Sep 19, 1997 Order article reprints

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