The William F-ing Buckley of stand-up.

Taking stock of people and ideas in the news.
Feb. 24 2005 11:35 AM

Chris Rock

The William F-ing Buckley of stand-up.

(Continued from Page 1)

Rock also won't burn down the academy's house because he's not that kind of comedian. In Raw, Eddie Murphy's feature-length stand-up film, Murphy opens by describing a phone call from Bill Cosby, who has called, Drudge-like, to complain that he swears too much. Nonplussed, Murphy calls Richard Pryor for advice. Pryor says tell Cosby to have a Coke and a smile and shut the … well you get the idea. The point of the bit is to establish where Murphy aligns himself in the stand-up canon—with the irreverence of Pryor, not the tamer stuff of Cosby.

Rock's breakout 1996 HBO special Bring the Pain, on the other hand, opens by flashing a series of album covers on the screen: the seminal works of Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Cosby and Murphy and Pryor. Rock has always striven for range. He can do a bit that's as raunchy as Pryor but he is also as spot-on about family as Cosby. Indeed, his recent material has increasingly focused on the rigors of marriage and the challenges of raising a daughter (specifically, the challenge of not raising a daughter who becomes a stripper). "I can play the Apollo, and I could play the Senate," Rock bragged to Charlie Rose last year. "In the same day. And have great shows at both." He's probably right.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 9:19 AM Alibaba’s Founder on Why His Company Is Killing It in China
  Life
Outward
Oct. 2 2014 9:58 AM No Word Yet From the Supreme Court on Gay Marriage 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 10:04 AM Wearing the Button-Down Shirt of the Boy You Once Loved
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 2 2014 9:49 AM In Medicine We Trust Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?