Chris Rock As Producer, Writer
Chris Rock also played as Himself
Release: Jun 1, 1996
Chris Rock: Bring the Pain is a 1996 HBO television special starring comedian Chris Rock. This was Rock's second special for the network following 1994's Big Ass Jokes. Although Rock was already a well-known comedian, Bring the Pain made him one of the most popular comedians in the United States. By 1994, Chris Rock's career had experienced a downslide:
"I was a has-been. So I figured if I'm not going to be famous, I can at least get really good, and get back to being the way I was before I met Eddie Murphy and saw the big houses and the girls." Rock became determined to subvert any preconceived notions about him. To prepare for the special, he honed his material for two years by performing nightly in comedy clubs and then launching a national tour. The special was taped at a tour stop at the Takoma Theatre in Washington, D.C. Bring the Pain premiered on June 1, 1996 on HBO. Rock's performance included bits about then-D.C. mayor Marion Barry, the O.J. Simpson murder case, dating, marriage and race relations in America. The most well-known and controversial piece of
the special is "Niggas vs. Black People" in which he states: "There's like a civil war goin on with black people and there's two sides. There's black people, and there's niggas. The niggas have got to go...I love black people, but I hate niggas, boy. Oh, I hate niggas. Boy, I wish they'd let me join the Klu Klux Klan. [sic] Shit, I'd do a drive-by from here to Brooklyn."
The special was regarded as one of the finest recorded stand-up comedy performances of all time. Entertainment Weekly called it "groundbreaking" and "a classic". Variety compared Rock to revered comedians Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce and called it "one of the truly remarkable hours of comedy ever to air on television". Rock was surprised by the widespread acclaim the special received:
"I thought, hopefully this will be better than other HBO specials, and I'll get whatever rewards come with that. Maybe somebody will want me to do a sitcom - if I'm lucky. Next thing they were talking about it on C-Span, and I'm, Huh? My only goal was to do a show that was good enough that when I played a club, I wouldn't have to promote it on radio." Watch Movies Online for Free on 10StarMovies.