Friday, March 16, 2007

Chris Rock + Suicide + Movie Plug = Not Funny

I've sort of been fuming over something for about a day now, and the stuff from the previous post was a contributing factor in my mood.

Kevin Alexander at Fjetsam posted a video that Defamer put up on Youtube of Chris Rock's most recent visit to the Late Show with David Letterman. Chris Rock and Richard Jeni was friends, and Letterman was asking Rock about him, and it all started out so nice and respectful. He said that Jeni was one of the most humble people he knew and it was a shame that he was gone and then without missing a beat, he just slid this into the conversation:

If he was here today, he would say "Man, people need to see I Think I Love My Wife"!

Now in tracking down the original Defamer story, someone posted an anecdote that Chris Rock did something similar when he appeared on Conan's show after the murder of Phil Hartman by his wife by making a joke that Brynn Hartman was being entertained as a candidate for the next Batman villain.

I have absolutely no respect for him anymore. I think what he did was disgusting. I had wanted to see that movie before this happened, and trust me, I don't think I will even watch it when it comes on cable now.


Burbanked said...

Rock certainly enjoys skating right up to the edge of "tasteless" and then, perhaps, passing it right by with hardly a glance in the rearview mirror. I might have given him the benefit of the doubt on the Jeni comment, but hearing from you that he did a similar thing with Hartman does suggest that he can be a jerk when the situation calls for tact.

My problem with him stems more from the fact that he can't carry a movie, especially one that he's written himself. I thought the trailer to I Think I Love My Wife looked awful - obvious, voiceover-heavy dreck.

Mayren said...

he has no taste. what else is there to say? Some people can't acquite tact no matter how much money they earn.

Semaj said...

I’m on the other side of this story. I don’t think what he said was too offensive. Tasteless, yes, but not too offensive. I agree with Burbanked, he hasn’t come out with a good movie since New Jack City, and there he played a crackhead in that movie. I wasn’t going to see his new movie at all, thanks to his track-record.

(He was good in Dogma)

MC said...

Burbanked: I think he is counting on the fact that the public has a short memory and in this case at least the perception that Jeni's following wasn't large enough to cause a major outrage from the comment.

Mayren: Hear, Hear!

Semaj: I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, I really did like looking to see if Richard Jeni did anything related to the movie or if Chris Rock continued talking about him in a respectful manner after that plug. Couldn't find anything about it.

Schadenfreude said...

Wow. Chris used to be brash and funny, and some of his routines will remain classic and priceless -- but using Jeni's death for a movie plug? That just goes a wee bit too far.

By far not the most egregious thing I've ever heard. I'd still put Kramer's Niggergate ahead of this in terms of tasteless, but both incidents are on the same side of the tacky/offensive continuum.

MC said...

I just don't think someone who was a friend should treat your death so cavalierly. There were a lot of funny things that could have gone in that space, as I am sure he had a couple of funny anecdotes about Jeni. I agree it wasn't the most tasteless thing ever, but it still has affected my perception of Chris Rock.