One of my favorite things about the world of stand-up comedy is that there's justice. Pure, rapid, almost-100%-accurate justice. Unlike with almost every other media form, the public does not make mistakes when it comes to stand-up comedians. It knows when it's got hold of a really great one. And at 43, Chris Rock is a really great one.
You can feel the audiences in his shows saying to him, "You've got it. We need it. Give it to us now!"
If you watched his show from the parking lot, I think the theater would seem to expand and contract like a big, happy factory in a cartoon. Laugh puffs would come out the chimney.
People don't think stand-up comedy is a visual medium. It's actually a purely visual medium. Every good joke creates an image in your mind. These days Chris Rock is working in Technicolor, he's working in Panavision, and he's working with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
You know how hard it is to make racism just plain fun? Rock does it. Racism to Chris Rock is just a Hacky Sack on his foot. He kicks it up over here, over there, behind the back and then right over to you. The tension release he offers is available nowhere else, from no one else. He has the same facility with sex, with marriage, with politics.
His instinct is to always reach for the hottest rivet in the bucketbare-handed, of coursethen jam it while it's still glowing right into the girder hole where it belongs. Then, one clean hammer shot and that baby's flush. All good comedians try to do the same with whatever their subject is, but right now, this guy is just wailing.
A few of my favorites:
On John McCain's age: "How you going to make decisions about the future when you aren't going to be here?"
On the primaries: "What are superdelegates anyway? Certain white people count for nine?"
On black people not voting for Obama: "He reminds me too much of me."
On race: "Marion Jones is in jail. Don't you feel safe?" And: "When I heard they were trying to get rid of the word n_____, I told my accountant to buy 800 shares of coon."
Seinfeld is a comedian and writer. His most recent film, Bee Movie, is out on DVD
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