Chris Rock is an American standup comedian, actor, producer and movie director. However, it’s his craft as a comedian that shot him to fame. He first started stand-up comedy in 1984 at the club Catch a Rising Star in New York City.
With his popularity soaring after the show, Rock secured a role in the TV series “Miami Vice”. Rock was then spotted by Eddie Murphy who mentored and gave him his first film role in “Beverly Hills Cop II” (1987).
Rock joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 1990 along with new cast members Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and David Spade. They became famously known as the Bad Boys of SNL. He went on to release his first comedy album in 1991 titled “Born Suspect.”
He left SNL two years later and appeared on a rival platform, “In Living Color,” a largely African-American sketch show. After six episodes, the show was canceled. Rock went on to write and star in the comedy “CB4”, which only cost $6 million to make but made $18 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Rock premiered his first HBO comedy specials, “Big Ass Jokes” and “Bring the Pain” in 1994 and 1996 respectively. He followed it with “Bigger & Blacker” in 1999, “Never Scared” in 2004 and “Kill the Messenger” in 2008. “Bring the Pain” earned him two Emmy Awards and soon he was being described as one of the best comedians in the U.S.
He also developed the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” which aired from 2005 to 2009. It was based on his early life. In 2018, he secured a $20 million per special deal with Netflix and released the first of two in 2018 called “Tambourine,” after a long break from stand-up comedy.
As his career soared to high heights, so did his fortune. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has a net worth of $60 million. The platform adds that his net worth could have been much higher but he reportedly lost some $40 million in a divorce settlement with his wife of 20 years.
At the just ended Academy Awards, the veteran comedian was hit by Will Smith for making a joke about his wife.
Rock said, “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2.” Smith walked up on stage and hit Rock before going back to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”
Smith later apologized during his best actor acceptance speech, but not to Rock, saying: “Love will make you do crazy things”. The actor said Denzel Washington also told him after the incident: “At your highest, that’s when the devil comes for you.”
Not a fan of cancel culture
In a May 17 interview with The Breakfast Club, Rock shared his thoughts on the cancel culture phenomenon, saying he feels it curtails creative abilities and is also “disrespectful” to both artists and their audiences.
As a veteran in the comedy industry with decades of experience, the 57-year-old explained how it affects their craft. “It’s weird when you’re a comedian because when your audience doesn’t laugh, we get the message. Like you don’t have to cancel us. … They’re not laughing,” Rock said, according to Complex. “Our feelings hurt. … I don’t understand why people feel the need to go beyond that.”
The stand-up comedian was born on February 7, 1965, in Andrews, South Carolina. His family later moved to Brooklyn, New York. He dropped out of school to work on menial jobs as a result of bullying. He got his GED while working menial jobs before starting standup comedy in 1984.
He married Malaak Compton-Rock in 1996 and together, they have two daughters, Lola Simone and Zahra. However, they divorced in 2016 after 20 years of marriage.