Oprah and Chris Rock

Photo: Rob Howard

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Chris Rock
June 2002

Oprah: You're more than just funny—you take difficult subjects and make them entertaining. What gives you the chutzpah to delve into the hard stuff?

Chris Rock: I don't know! I was raised on rap music—the first art form created by black people who were free to say anything they wanted. So the rap on those first N.W.A. and Public Enemy records—the good rap, not the garbage—already contained much of what I've said.

OW: One of your funniest routines is about a black woman trying to use a maxed-out credit card that she prays won't be rejected at the department store.

CR: Every time I see you, you request that story like it's a song or something. You're like, "Hey, Chris, can you do the one about the black woman in the department store?"

OW: That's because I have been that woman.

Read the full interview from the June 2002 issue.