The first two seasons of the critically-acclaimed The Chris Rock Show are now available to stream on HBO Max.
Rock's Emmy-winning late night talk show, which ran from 1997 to 2000 and featured his thought-provoking comedy sketches and social commentary, has been hard to find until now. The series not only showcased Black comedy, but it also gave Black notables a comfortable platform. Series guests include Prince, Jesse Jackson, Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa, and more, with Grandmaster Flash acting as the show's musical director.
“We're thrilled to have The Chris Rock Show on HBO Max so that subscribers can revisit one of comedy's most iconic series," said Nina Rosenstein, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming. "Chris has never been afraid to take risks and challenge norms, and both guests and viewers embraced this. His show also provided a platform for up-and-coming talent and cutting edge musical guests, and while there are too many unforgettable comedy pieces to name, Chris' attempt to rename a Howard Beach street to ‘Tupac Shakur Boulevard’ is a classic that instantly comes to mind. It’s one of the many examples of why we're excited for fans and new audiences alike to watch the show.”
The Chris Rock Show has been lauded by many critics, with Entertainment Weekly calling it "hilarious," and Vulture praising the writing staff's "take-no-prisoners sensibitlity." Variety also said Rock "has charisma and attitude to burn" with sketches that "tend to be both funny and empahize a point about the society they were made in."
The Chris Rock Show predates Dave Chappelle's hit Comedy Central series, Chappelle's Show, setting the stage for the mainstream to consume Black political and comedic commentary. Chappelle's Show came to Comedy Central in 2003, three years after The Chris Rock Show, and lasted until 2006. In fact, several of today's comedy/political hybrids, such as Key & Peele and Patriot Act with Hasan Minaj, stem from The Chris Rock Show's legacy.