Chris Rock is known as one of today's most popular comedians. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Rock came onto the entertainment scene as a stand-up comic. In his career, he has done it all. He made waves with stand-up comedy, landing many comedy specials and even two Emmy Awards. His 1999 album, Bigger and Blacker, earned him a Grammy Award. He has starred in movies and even has his own TV show that is currently one of HBO's top-rated shows.
Rock spent several years as a stand-up comic, making the rounds as most young comedians did. Rock was popular, being featured on Uptown Comedy Express and Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen. Rock was discovered in 1987 by Eddie Murphy, who liked this young comedian enough to finagle a small role in 1987's blockbuster hit Beverly Hills Cop II as a valet parker in one scene. While Rock got paid a mere $600 for the role, he gained much more than that.
Being liked by Eddie Murphy, who remains one of the most popular comedians, has its perks. In 1990, Rock was hired onto Eddie Murphy's alma mater Saturday Night Live as a writer and a sketch performer. Rock spent three years on the show before moving on to much bigger things. In 1993, Rock wrote, produced, and starred in CB4, a film that poked fun at gangster rap and its image in white society. The movie is funny in its satire regarding rap, but it is easy to lose interest when the movie falls back to its plot, or lack thereof.
In 1993, Chris Rock made the TV special, Big Ass Jokes, which is a showpiece of his early work. In 1996, Rock served as presidential campaign correspondent for Comedy Central's Politically Incorrect. The show went on the campaign trail during the presidential election and put Rock's comedy together with real life politics.
Rock proved strong enough to take the next step in the comedic hierarchy, getting his very own HBO show. Rock's talk show featured comedic sketches and guests from all across the entertainment industry including music, television, and movies. His show proved quite successful, and Rock was scheduled to do another big time TV special in 1999, Bigger and Blacker. Rock pulled out all of the stops, and the special brought him huge acclaim by critics and fans alike.
Rock found success on stage and on TV, and in 1998, he really started to find success on the big screen as well. Prior to 1998, Rock had been in several movies but never had much time on screen to show what he could do. After the 1998 movie Lethal Weapon 4, Rock played a detective who wanted to marry Danny Glover's daughter, the movie opportunities began to pour in.
In 1999, Rock appeared in Dogma. The film featured an all-star cast of Chris Rock, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jay and Silent Bob, George Carlin, and many more. In 2001, Rock wrote, produced, and starred in Down to Earth, showing his versatility in the industry. Other films, such as Bad Company and Head of State, also featured his acting, writing, producing, and even directing skills.
Chris Rock remains among the biggest draws in stand-up comedy and a huge hit in films. He has several films in the works, and his star is still rising. His stand-up comedy remains his bread and butter, and tickets are tough to get, but well worth it.