[Rolling Stone] Chris Rock’s three decades of material suggest that his ambivalence about marriage has always been there.
He made a movie called I Think I Love My Wife, and he did a bit about Nelson Mandela splitting from Winnie Mandela: “Marriage is so tough, Nelson Mandela got divorced. … He got out of jail after 27 years of torture, spent six months with his wife and said, ‘I can’t take this shit no more.’”
This is a different Rock than the one I saw at the Comedy Cellar. He waits until about two-thirds through the show before hitting his divorce. He is more introspective.
“I was a piece of sh*t,” says Rock as the crowd goes quiet. He segues into his infidelities and gets disarmingly specific, describing three women: one famous, one semifamous, and one a member of the retail class.
[His friend] Nelson George warns me that “the ‘I’ onstage is not the ‘I’ of Chris. He’s trying to create that persona of the new Chris and keep some separation for the real Chris.”
Still, this doesn’t seem like persona, particularly when he urges his audience that if they love someone to hold on tightly. (And travel a lot, and fuck when you’re angry.)
And then Rock closes the show. He looks exhausted, having flown in a few hours earlier. He does a compressed version of his set and ends on his divorce. Where he usually says, “It was my fault, I was a piece of sh*t,” Rock pauses and improvises. “Was it my fault?” He lets it hang in the air for a moment. Then he mumbles, “Who the f*ck knows.”
Famous Woman: Kerry Washington
Semi-Famous Woman: A member of Destiny’s Child
Comedian Chris Rock cheated on his wife with actress Kerry Washington… and a member of Destiny’s Child!