Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Rock [1999]

Genre: Documentary, Comedy
Comedian Chris Rock spent several seasons on Saturday Night Live, and this compilation tape of his best moments showcases his considerable talents while unintentionally highlighting how uneven the show itself is. Even in a video selected to showcase Rock alone, he is all too often mired as the second or third banana in an SNL skit. But there are, thankfully, plenty of opportunities in this video for Rock to shine without being upstaged by other performers or left adrift by limp writing. When he appears behind the "Weekend Update" desk to deliver an editorial commentary or a news report, Rock put his considerable skills as a comedian to perfect use. And in the skits where the focus is on him, he proves himself to be adept at characterizations, such as when he dons a colossal Afro wig to become radical talk show host Nat X, host of "The Dark Side." One peculiar surprise about the video: some of the language in "Def Jam" parodies that was bleeped out for the broadcast of SNL is here presented uncensored, so while this is Chris Rock delivering perhaps his cleanest material, a few choice words are nonetheless delivered loud and clear. --Robert J. McNamara

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Kevin Nealon:
This Monday, America celebrates what would've been Martin Luther King's 63rd birthday. Most people will get the day off work, except the residents of Arizona who voted against the King holiday, more on this from SNL news correspondant Chris Rock.

Chris Rock:
Now there's alot of talk about the people of Arizona being racist. So I went to see for myself, I went to Arizona and I'm walking through the streets of Tucson pushing my little baby brother in a stroller when a white woman comes up to the baby, smiles and says 'Boy what a pretty niglet.' Now if you don't like black people, that's one thing, but what I can't understand is why people in a hot-ass desert town like Tucson, Arizona wouldn't want a day off work. It's not like you have to do something black on that day. You don't have to ready Ebony magazine, you don't have to watch Soul Train, all you have to do is not work. Now if this was an Elvis holiday, they'd take that off. It would be like another Christmas. With big fat white guys coming down chimneys with Elvis jumpsuits on, giving out preyludes. Now, everybody doesn't get Martin Luther King's birthday off, even the states that celebrate, some people still have to work. Now one group that never have to work are prisoners. Criminals. Every ciminal in every jail get's the day off work, which means even James Earl Rey, the man who killed Martin Luther King get's the day off. He's so crazy, he's probably walking around prison saying, "Everybody get's the day off today and nobody even bothered to thank me. " Now what Arizona needs to do is give Dr. King somebody else's holiday. There are so many holidays we celebrate every year that mean nothing. Like Columbus Day. Nobody celebrates Columbus Day, nobody puts three ships in their front yard. First of all, Columbus discovered the West Indies. Second of all, the land he discovered had occupants on it. That's like discovering someone's back yard. All Columbus did was discover a West Indian back yard. He got his little flag and said "I claim this land for Spain." And the West Indians are like, "Hey, Mon, get your darn flag off me lawn now. Move it now!" So Arizona, get your act together and hail the King! Thank you very much.

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