The Best Quotes From Everyone Else’s Chris Rock Interviews

Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Paramount is spending $20 million to promote Top Five, and part of Chris Rock’s deal with the studio was that he help them out. He’s certainly delivered. Rock doesn’t just appear on the cover of this week’s New York Magazine, talking to Frank Rich about the myth of racial progress — he’s given lengthy sit-downs to The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Grantland while also penning an essay for The Hollywood Reporter. Each has been a gold mine of incisive social commentary and damn good punch lines. Here are the best quotes from all those other interviews; we hope you find them interesting but infinitesimally less interesting than our own.

On racism in Hollywood:

Hollywood pretty much decides to cast a black guy or they don’t. We’re never on the ‘short list.’ We’re never ‘in the mix.’ When there’s a hot part in town and the guys are reading for it, that’s just what happens. It was never like, ‘Is it going to be Ryan Gosling or Chiwetel Ejiofor for Fifty Shades of Grey?’ And you know, black people fuck, too. White women actually want to fuck black guys, sometimes more than white guys. More women want to fuck Tyrese than Jamie Dornanand it’s not even close.” —The Hollywood Reporter

“I’ve got arty taste, which is great and not great at the same time. I’d rather work with Wes Anderson, but I don’t look like Owen Wilson. I’d love to work with Alexander Payne and Richard Linklater. But they don’t really do those movies with black people that much.” —Rolling Stone

“There are almost no black women in film. You can go to whole movies and not see one black woman. They’ll throw a black guy a bone. OK, here’s a black guy. But is there a single black woman in Interstellar? Or Gone Girl? BirdmanThe Purge? Neighbors? … I go to the movies almost every week, and I can go a month and not see a black woman having an actual speaking part in a movie.” —The Hollywood Reporter

“But forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is: Is Hollywood Mexican enough? You’re in L.A, you’ve got to try not to hire Mexicans. It’s the most liberal town in the world, and there’s a part of it that’s kind of racist — not racist like ‘Fuck you, nigger’ racist, but just an acceptance that there’s a slave state in L.A. There’s this acceptance that Mexicans are going to take care of white people in L.A. that doesn’t exist anywhere else.” —The Hollywood Reporter

On rap:

“The Stones can play arenas because the Stones have songs that are not purely based on references that you had to be there for. I love Public Enemy. But they don’t have ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.’ Kanye will be able to play arenas maybe more than Jay Z honestly, because there’s a vulnerability and an emotional thing that happens in his music that doesn’t happen in most rap. I love rap, but rap is like comedy: It rots.” —Rolling Stone

On comedy:

“You know, if you get an offer to host the Grammys and an offer to host the BET Awards — host the BET Awards. Because it skews younger and you’ll get more new fans doing that than even doing the Oscars. And that’s kind of the name of the game: How many new fans are you going to get doing this? It’s all about new fans. My kids don’t know who Eddie Murphy is, my kids don’t know who Madonna is.” —Grantland

“[Adam Sandler] had the confidence of a black wide receiver.” —The New Yorker

“People always wondered about Richard Pryor, was he as funny not on drugs as he was on drugs. Lenny Bruce, same thing. Sam Kinison, same thing. George Carlin’s probably the only one I saw be as funny as a sober person as he was as a drug addict.” —Grantland

On Barack Obama:

“Obama is like the polio vaccine of racism — people still get polio and die, but there is a vaccine. They don’t have to get it. And my kids, you know, it’s been 12 years now and there hasn’t been one racial incident in my mostly white neighborhood — not even a tiny one.” —Rolling Stone

“The difference between Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson was that Jesse Jackson never actually ran for president. He ran to disrupt the presidency. If he actually ran for president, he probably could have been president. Jesse Jackson won a bunch of primaries in Southern states, but not for five seconds did he think he could be president, whereas Obama was like, ‘Yeah, I could be president,’ and nobody stopped him.” —The Hollywood Reporter

On his career ambitions:

“I don’t want to [act] in anything that [takes place] before the Jackson 5. Anything before them is just black misery. Everything before the Jackson 5 is essentially slavery, or close to it. So as far as I’m concerned, Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie ended slavery.” —Rolling Stone

“The whole ‘Be a role model to people’ [idea] is kind of racist when you think about it … It suggests that my behavior is not natural. It’s like, ‘Hey I don’t beat my wife because I don’t beat my wife, not because I’m trying to help the race out.’ Know what I mean? I read because I want to read. It’s like, you have a negative image of your people as a whole if you’re putting all of your eggs in my basket.” —Grantland

“I don’t care if I have to play a whip, I’m going to be in a Steve McQueen movie.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Nat Turner’s a fucking nerd. He gets taught to read and write by his white massa, and he gets sold, and now he has to go out in the fields like everybody else, and he’s so not equipped for this shit … It’s, like, ‘Oh, shit! Everything I’ve been taught is bullshit!’ And he organizes guys and has this bloody fuckin’ takeover. I’d love to do that movie.” —The New Yorker

Chris Rock Can’t Stop Saying Brilliant Stuff