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On-Air: Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker Sat 9/27 11:35PM

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About Chris Rock

Chris Rock began performing in Manhattan comedy clubs as a teenager and was taken under the wings of such comics as Sam Kinison and Eddie Murphy. By 1987, he had made an early TV appearance on the HBO special "Uptown Comedy Express." That same year, Rock made his feature film debut as a parking valet in "Beverly Hills Cop II." But Rock's "big break" came with "Saturday Night Live," on which he lampooned black leaders, impersonated figures like Michael Jackson and created comic characters like the militant talk show host Nat X and the rapper I'm Chillin'.

Feeling stuck and pigeonholed in only black roles, Rock left the series in 1993, jumping to Fox's "In Living Color," but that show was in its waning days and Rock chose to concentrate on other avenues, appearing in only nine episodes. In 1994, he had his first HBO special, "HBO Comedy Half-Hour: Chris Rock -- Big Ass Jokes."

Rock co-executive produced, wrote and starred in his second HBO special, "Chris Rock: Bring the Pain" in... Read More »

Chris Rock began performing in Manhattan comedy clubs as a teenager and was taken under the wings of such comics as Sam Kinison and Eddie Murphy. By 1987, he had made an early TV appearance on the HBO special "Uptown Comedy Express." That same year, Rock made his feature film debut as a parking valet in "Beverly Hills Cop II." But Rock's "big break" came with "Saturday Night Live," on which he lampooned black leaders, impersonated figures like Michael Jackson and created comic characters like the militant talk show host Nat X and the rapper I'm Chillin'.

Feeling stuck and pigeonholed in only black roles, Rock left the series in 1993, jumping to Fox's "In Living Color," but that show was in its waning days and Rock chose to concentrate on other avenues, appearing in only nine episodes. In 1994, he had his first HBO special, "HBO Comedy Half-Hour: Chris Rock -- Big Ass Jokes."

Rock co-executive produced, wrote and starred in his second HBO special, "Chris Rock: Bring the Pain" in 1996. The special earned Emmy Awards for writing and as Outstanding Variety, Music and Comedy Special. He was in competition with himself in the writing category, though, as he had also been cited for his work covering the 1996 political convention on Comedy Central's "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher."

Quietly building a feature career as well, Rock could be seen as a rib joint customer in an off-quoted bit in "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988). One of his best parts was his portrayal of Pookie, a con artist street dealer whose undercover work leads to drug addiction and death in "New Jack City" (1991). He also made a hilarious turn as Rufus, the hitherto unknown 13th apostle in Kevin Smith's "Dogma" (1999). Since then, Rock has been in dozens of films, such as "Pootie Tang," "Nurse Betty," "Down to Earth," "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," "Bad Company," "Head of State" and "The Longest Yard."

Currently, Rock starred in his fifth HBO comedy special, "Kill the Messenger." It was made from three performances spliced into one (Johannesburg, London and New York). The special won two Emmy Awards in 2009, including one for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special.

Additionally, Chris has done voices for the animated "Madagascar" series, as well as narrated and produced the documentary "Good Hair" and the television series "Everybody Hates Chris." Coming up, he can be seen in the films "Grown Ups" (with Adam Sandler) and "Death at a Funeral" (with Tracy Morgan).