Chris Rock: Selective Outrage (2023)
March 7, 2023 6:16 PM - Subscribe

Comedian Chris Rock performs a live stand-up special in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was certainly not as startling as Will Smith hitting him at the Oscars, but his long-awaited response, in his new Netflix stand-up special “Selective Outrage” on Saturday night, had moments that felt as emotional, messy and fierce. It was the least rehearsed, most riveting material in an uneven hour. -- Jason Zinoman, The New York Times

As live television, it was intermittently interesting, then briefly compelling; as comedy, it will be a minor entry in Rock’s estimable stand-up catalog -- David Sims, The Atlantic
posted by riruro (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't watched yet but from the reviews I've read, this is largely the same set he was working on when we caught it here, which makes sense.
posted by emelenjr at 7:14 PM on March 7, 2023

Definitely uneven, but I enjoyed it. I was about ready to give up on him after Tambourine, which I didn’t find funny really at all, so glad to see him coming back with something better.
posted by skewed at 8:28 PM on March 7, 2023

I grok a new-to-me term, misogynoir, now.
posted by porpoise at 7:17 AM on March 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I chuckled throughout, and Rock certainly has an engaging and absorbing presence in this. His anger was pretty captivating but also disturbed me a bit. I really didn't like the vitriol for Jada.

He's obviously talented, and still can command a stage, but i dont think he's cutting-edge anymore. I feel that way about a lot of comedians who were in their heyday in the 80s-90s (chapelle, seinfeld) ; they haven't changed with society's huge shifts since that era and complain about "wokeness", remaining kind of stuck in the past. I guess they'll always have their diehard fans though.
posted by bearette at 8:33 AM on March 8, 2023

Rock at his peak was one of the best standup comics ever, but I think he's been too busy getting rich (and hanging out with other rich people) to see the world changing around him. Or he sees it and thinks his money and fame insulate him from it, which is somehow worse.

I enjoyed the set, but there were some real cringe moments as well. I'm disappointed that he didn't bring something different, especially considering the push that Netflix gave the special, and it's been enlightening to see how other people reacted to it. E.g.

"Chris Rock makes comedy for white people who have a Black friend."
posted by box at 8:57 AM on March 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

I only heard about it because of this positive Pajiba review, but I found myself laughing a lot harder at the Marlon Wayans God Loves Me special (also centered on the Slap). Chris Rock is inarguably better at commanding a stage, and generally a much better writer, but there's an irresistible cheekiness about a nepo-baby celeb making the whole event about himself. I did read a review where Marlon Wayans pointed out that he normally would tour for 2-3 years on standup before making a special, and that's also true with Chris Rock. Making a standup special about the Slap is tricky because it already feels pretty dated as a topic, but the newness of the event means any material about it is going to be under-proofed.

Also, through some goofy cultural osmosis, I felt like I remembered the #OscarsSoWhite thing pretty well. "Jada Pinkett-Smith tried to bully Chris Rock into quitting the Oscars because Will Smith wasn't nominated" is...not how I would describe that. Chris Rock is welcome to frame it how he likes, but when it conflicts with a lot of people's memories like that, he's creating a situation where a lot of us can't accept the premise of the joke. (I guess the premise of the joke is that Jada Pinkett-Smith is a talentless bitch who drove Will Smith crazy?)
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:01 AM on March 8, 2023

I was so bored in the first 15 minutes that I turned it off. This was my feeling: Review: Chris Rock becomes a sad old man yelling at clouds in live Netflix special
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:42 PM on March 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed it.

I agree with his criticism of Jada, at least in regards to the public airing of the "entanglement" dirty laundry. And the balls of her to bring Will onto national TV to discuss her banging a young man 21 years her junior? Sheesh.

I love how he made sure his (admittedly spoiled) daughter suffered the consequences of her own actions.
posted by luckynerd at 10:06 AM on March 13, 2023

« Older The Consultant: Full Season...   |  Last Week Tonight with John Ol... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments