Chris Rock has been one of the funniest men in Hollywood for quite some time. He has a solid history as a stand-up comedian, having been on Saturday Night Live and In Living Color, but there is a diversity to Chris Rock that many fans may not be aware of. Here are some unbelievable facts about the 2016 Oscar host.
1. Moviefone reports that when Chris Rock was in high school, he attended schools in white neighborhoods where he would get bullied and beat up on a regular basis. As he got older, the situation got worse, until his parents pulled him from school. He later went on to get his high school diploma through GED and he credits bullying for making him who he is today.
“[Being bullied was] the defining moment of my life… it made me who I am.”
2. According to IMDb, Chris Rock has hosted the Academy Awards in the past, back in 2005. He was considered an edgy host at that time, but he was also a controversial choice because he had told Entertainment Weekly the Awards show was nothing more than a fashion show.
“Come on, it’s a fashion show. No one performs; it’s not like a music show. What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one.”
— HLWD Social Lounge (@The_HSL) January 21, 2016
3. Chris Rock is a talented director, as well as an actor and comedian. He has directed three movies, including Top Five, I Think I Love My Wife, and Head of State.
Chris Rock and Kerry Washington star in the SCANDALous I Think I Love My Wife now on http://t.co/h617WtEXow! pic.twitter.com/cthHxqol1m
— Presto (@presto) May 19, 2015
In addition to this, he has worked with Amy Schumer as director of her HBO comedy special, Amy Schumer Live at the Apollo.
4. Thanks to his daughter’s curiosity about his hair, Chris Rock produced a documentary about African-American women’s hairstyles, called Good Hair. The film was quite successful, garnering him a Special Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
5. Chris Rock’s stand-up routine has been influenced by his grandfather, Allen Rock, who was a preacher. This includes taking his grandfather’s example of only writing down brief phrases, rather than whole routines, so that he would always be talking instead of reading.
6. Chris Rock had the chance to go back to stand-up with Bring Back the Pain, when he was out of TV gigs and there weren’t any movie jobs opening up.
7. Chris Rock’s very first role in a movie was in Beverly Hills Cop II. He was cast by Eddie Murphy, who was a friend and a mentor.
— Film Festival News (@filmfest) July 8, 2014
He once spoke about how he has never made money like Eddie Murphy.
“I’ve never made money like Eddie. I’ve done fine, but it’s dribs and drabs: two here, one there. I never got, like, a thirty-million-dollar check. I never had a movie make three hundred million dollars that’s just starring me. So I don’t necessarily do it for the money — but I’ve never had so much money I don’t have to think about it.”
8. When Chris Rock hosted the 2005 Academy Awards, he referred to Jude Law as a low-rent Tom Cruise and Sean Penn then defended Jude Law.
9. Chris Rock’s great-great-grandfather, Julius Caesar Tingman, was a slave for 21 years. He also fought in the American Civil War.
10. Chris Rock was part of a team who worked to create a humor magazine at Howard University, according to AOL.
[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]