Chris Rock's real wife vs. his comedy wife

Chris Rock is interviewed by Judd Apatow via email in Vanity Fair. He argues that comics were better when they had to perform in front of all kinds of crowds.

Do I think comedians are better now? Hell fuckin’ no. Show me one guy or woman as funny as Rodney Dangerfield or as good as George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, or Joan Rivers. There are a lot of good comics out there, no doubt, but as far as the quality of the comics goes, I think what you have is a bunch of situational comics. What we have now is black comics that work only black crowds, gay comics that do only gay crowds, and southern comics that only work down South, and so on with Asian, Latino, Indian, midgets, etc. The previous generation’s comics were better because they had to make everybody laugh. Richard Pryor could do The Ed Sullivan Show and play the Apollo. Seinfeld can work any crowd. Ellen can work any crowd. Lopez can work any crowd. And a few more, but the rest of them are just situational comics.


He also talks about his real wife vs. his comedy wife.

What isn’t O.K. to say onstage? Any of your family’s personal business. No experience that is just theirs. I don’t really worry about what they are thinking. Anything I say about women, I try to make sure that at least five or six friends of mine are going through a similar situation. That way I’m not picking on my wife. We like to say I have my real wife, who’s a lovely woman, mother to my children. Then I have my comedy wife, who’s a crazy bitch.


Interesting split. Seems like the tricky part would be getting real wife to be ok with comedy wife. [via JH]

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