Wednesday, November 17, 2004

NELLIE'S GOT THE ST. LUNATICS -- I'VE GOT POOTIE TANG: Few comedians are as insightful or introspective about their craft as Chris Rock is, and this Onion A.V. Club interview proves it again. Here's part of his discussion of his breakthrough Bring the Pain HBO special:

By the time I got to Bring The Pain, I felt like I had a point to prove. I addressed it like it was it, that it might be the only shot I'd get, and I just learned to be relevant. I wanted to really, really make the most of it. And the fact that I was kind of out of show business helped, because that was all I had to do. No movies on the side. No TV. Just hit the road.

Right before I did Bring The Pain, I'm in Atlanta in the Buckhead Mall, buying underwear. And who do I bump into but Andrew "Dice" Clay. And he's buying underwear, too, because we're comedians. We're both from that Sam Kinison school of comedy where you get on a plane with a toothbrush and your coat and you just go. Buy clothes when you get there. So we start talking, and he said, "You're doing an HBO special? Watch Rocky. It'll all come back to you." I'm not going to sit here and talk here about Dice like he's Lenny Bruce or anything, but the guy did get more out of an HBO special than just about anybody in the history of cable. So I watched Rocky, and it did all come back to me. It was weird. Of all the guys to bump into. . . .

Tim McCarver told a story about Steve Carlton. Every now and then, they'd be playing a game, and they'd let certain guys get a hit early in the game because they knew the guy wouldn't try as hard later. That was me. I'd write something funny, and then I wouldn't try as hard the next week on the show. So with Bring The Pain, I just tried to shake all of that shit. I just tried to do the best work I'd ever done.

Worth your time, as the A.V. Club always is.

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