Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker (DVD)
"The funniest man in America" according to Time magazine and Vanity Fair, presents an hour of "riotously funny" (Entertainment Weekly) and "breathtakingly provocative" (Chicago Sun-Times) outstanding stand-up comedy.
Comedian Chris Rock makes a raucous return to his stand-up roots in this HBO special filmed at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater. Despite his manic and profane delivery, Rock's comedy is often rooted in traditional subjects for comedians: family relationships, misunderstandings between men and women, and observations on how childhood has changed. But he takes his material right to the edge, proving himself to be a sharp-eyed satirist. Serious and timely issues, such as school shootings or children being neglected by partying parents, are tackled by Rock, who's not afraid to slip in a serious point while being hysterically funny. His defense of President Clinton against his accusers is a good example of how Rock's material is almost always bound to offend someone: he slices through the self-righteous rhetoric of the impeachment spectacle, but even the behavior he defends comes in for ridicule with jokes that are extremely funny as well as extremely coarse. The pace of this one-hour show is uneven, and some viewers will no doubt find Rock's penchant for using profanity as punctuation tiresome. But those who like intelligent comedy with a hard edge will find much to laugh at in Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker
. -- Robert J. McNamara