Oprah: Isn't that because humor crosses all lines?
Chris: Yes, and people basically aren't that racist. They want their laughs. If I make a white guy laugh, he's gonna come see me. He's not gonna go see the white guy who doesn't make him laugh just because that guy is white. That's why comedy is one of the few places in the world where you can absolutely transcend race. And you don't have to even try to cross over. Some of our biggest stars, like Redd Foxx and Bernie Mac, never crossed over.
Oprah: Don't you just love Bernie Mac?
Chris: I love Bernie! For years I've been pushing that guy forward. NBC, ABC, CBS—all of them lost out [to Fox]. Whenever someone used to ask me who the next big thing was, I'd always say Bernie Mac.
Oprah: When I talked with Bernie, he said he wouldn't ever undermine his culture or compromise any part of who he is just to do a sitcom. And he has mastered that in a way few people have. His show is great because he plays himself.
Chris: He has totally embraced his culture while also using a classic comedy structure. He talks to the camera in a way that's no different from George Burns with Gracie Allen.
Oprah: Haven't you been approached to do sitcoms?
Chris: I get approached to do shows all the time. There's a lot of money in sitcoms, but I've never been the kind of guy who wanted to do one. I don't think people want to see me saying "Honey, I'm home." It's just not my thing. But now that I have this baby coming, who knows what will happen?
Oprah: Why did you stop doing The Chris Rock Show?
Chris: I really wanted to do movies, and it's difficult to do movies on the side. Only if you're Oprah can you say, "I will shoot between July and September." And let me tell you—if I'm ever Oprah, I'm going to say, "Can we shoot for one hour a day?" It probably sounds crazy, but I may eventually go back to my show. I miss informing people and being an immediate part of the culture. I miss being able to do a whole piece on reparations. I miss the mix of having Adam Sandler on to sing some nasty song and then talking with Cornel West.
Oprah: We miss you, too, Chris. Not having your show is a loss, because there's no one else like you on television. So are you definitely going back to the show?
Chris: If I can figure everything out. This next movie I'm filming is very important.
We Hear You!