Boasting a decorated resume that reads of success in comedy, TV, film, writing, and production, Tony Rock has long established himself a force in the entertainment industry independent of his legendary big brother, Chris Rock.
Now, with over 20 years of bringing the laughs across those various platforms, the younger Rock shows no signs of slowing as the opportunities keep rolling in. Most recently making headlines for being tapped to host BET’s new game show, ‘Black Card Revoked’ (premiering tonight at 10/9c), Tony sat down with That Grape Juice to dish on the hilarious new venture and even chat about a few controversial topics too.
Shunning censorship of his comedy in a PC era to not exactly being a fan of male internet comedians wearing wigs, look inside to see how Mr. Rock kept it all the way real in this exclusive interview:
TGJ: Let’s hop right into it. ‘Black Card Revoked’ premieres January 18 at 10/9c. Tell us a bit more about the premise of the show.
Rock: It’s simple; some things are considered “fundamentally Black.” Sweet potato pie, calling cherry Kool-aid the “red Kool-aid,” stuff like that. There is no real defining answer as to what “Black” is, but there are some things we consider our own – good or bad.
The show tests contestants’ “Black knowledge.” Three celebrities playing with three non-celebrities (contestants) to help them win $10,000.
TGJ: When you were approached with the idea of hosting a board game-turned-game show, what was most appealing about the opportunity?
Rock: Whenever I get the opportunity to work and just “do me,” I have the most fun. When this was brought to me, they told me they wanted me to be me.
TGJ: For those living under a rock, break down what a “Black card” is and how one gets it revoked.
Rock: (laughs). A “Black card” is like a stamp or imaginary certification of being “down” with Black culture. But, if you ever do anything outside of that realm you can get it revoked. For example, if you’ve never had potato salad, your card need to be revoked.
TGJ: Who’s somebody you’d say has recently gotten his or her Black card revoked?
Rock: That’s easy. Omarosa, for sure. She’s not invited to the cookout.
TGJ: Ha! We’d agree there. One thing you’ve recently made headlines for is your willingness to “go there.” Living in such a PC Culture, why do you feel it more important than ever to voice your stance on not apologizing for your comedic content?
Rock: If I say something as a human being, I’ll apologize. If I say something as a comedian, I will not apologize. Don’t go into a comedy bar if you don’t want to hear something offensive.
As a matter of fact, you should apologize to me if you come into my forum and want me to change what I do.
TGJ: You have a lot of “forums,” we must say. Comic, actor, producer, writer, and host are just a few of the hats you wear. Which of these is the most challenging?
Rock: Producer. I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who has gotten a project from idea to paper to being pitched to actually produced. There’s so much work that goes into it!
TGJ: As a game show host, we thought you’d appreciate playing a little game we call “5 From Fans.” We’ve collected 5 questions from our readers who love you and wanted to pick your brain about a few topics.
Rock: Let’s do it!
TGJ Fan Question #1: Since you have so many comedians in your family, would you guys ever consider doing one large event together?
Rock: Absolutely! Jordan Rock [the youngest brother] is ready, I’m ready, but we’re just waiting on Chris. He likes it for us to be in our own light. But, nowadays I’m more of “Tony Rock” than I am “Chris Rock’s brother,” so now we just need Jordan to get a bit more shine.
I think the world would love to see all three Rock brothers on stage at once.
TGJ Fan Question #2: Black male comedians wearing wigs is a hot topic again after a controversial Instagram post by a Christian entrepreneur went viral for slamming them. How do you feel about it?
Rock: Am I a fan of it? No. It’s not something I’d ever do. To each his own, though. These guys are just making fun of themselves and doing what they think is funny and what people will laugh at.
TGJ Fan Question #3: What’s your dream accomplishment?
Rock: There are a lot of things I want to do. I’ve not won an Oscar, hosted the BET Awards, or gotten that dream movie role. I haven’t written that amazing comedic piece that changes the game…yet.
TGJ Fan Question #4: If given the opportunity, who would you portray in a biopic?
Rock: Rick James. I want it to be right, though. He led a real dark life off stage, so I want it to be real.
TGJ Fan Question #5: You see a lot of up-and-coming talent in comedy. Who would you say is next to blow?
Rock: Just Nesh, Jordan Rock, D’Lai, and so many more. I’m excited to see what these guys are bringing to the game.
TGJ: Thanks for playing! Finally, we’re still very much at the beginning of the year. What else can we expect from you this year?
Rock: First, there’s BET’s ‘Black Card Revoked’ this week and then there’s ‘Living Biblically’ on CBS premiering next month. And, of course, you know I’m going to be on tour here or there [click here for tickets and dates]. 2018 is looking like it’s going to be a great year.