While the average Joe lives paycheck to paycheck trying to feed his family, the one percent live a much different lifestyle — but if people knew exactly how different, we'd have a major problem on our hands. "Oh, people don't even know [how bad it is]," Rock said. "If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets. If the average person could see the Virgin Airlines first-class lounge, they'd go, 'What? What? This is food, and it's free, and they… what? Massage? Are you kidding me?'"
Bill Cosby stands accused of sexually assaulting over a dozen women, but Rock is hoping against hope that the reports are false. "I don't know what to say. What do you say? I hope it's not true," he said. "That's all you can say. I really do. I grew up on Cosby. I love Cosby, and I just hope it's not true. It's a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan and we kind of lost Cosby."
The late, great Joan Rivers earned a huge accolade from Rock. "The compliment you give of a comedian is: Who wants to follow them onstage? Nobody wanted to follow Joan Rivers, ever. Even in her 80s, nobody wanted to follow her," he said.
Barack Obama's presidency has been described by some as coming in with a bang and leaving with a whimper. Rock believes things would have been much different if the president took on a wildly different leadership style.
"When Obama first got elected, he should have let it all just drop. Just let the country flatline," he said. "Let the auto industry die. Don't bail anybody out. In sports, that's what any new GM does. They make sure that the catastrophe is on the old management and then they clean up. They don't try to save old management's mistakes. Let it all go to hell knowing good and well this is on them. That way you can implement. You hire your own coach. You get your own players. He could have got way more done."
Black people haven't come a long way, Rock claims — white people are just wising up. "When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before," he said. "So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be president. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years."
Jerry Seinfeld thinks he's autistic because he's socially awkward. Rock says that's BS. "He bores easily. I bore easily. Not because I'm on some spectrum, but because I hear so many conversations again and again," he explained. "So many people come up to you, and not enough people try to take into account what you've heard already."
If this whole comedy thing doesn't work out, Rock has a second career planned: TV journalist. "I would love to be a 60 Minutes correspondent. I would cover anything. I mean, I'd be in Ferguson right now, and it would be in-depth, and it would be funny," he said. "I'd do a special on race, but I'd have no black people."
As unlikely as it would seem, the Pootie Tang star and the Sleepless in Seattle director often talked about partnering for a film. "She and I used to talk about making a movie all the time," he explained. "She always used to say to me, 'Are you ready to walk? That's the only way we're going to make a movie. We're going to have to do a lot of walking and talking.' She would've directed it. I wanted her to direct me really bad."
When it was pointed out that Bill Clinton treated Obama quite shabbily during the now-president's first campaign — where he ran against Hillary Clinton — Rock said he didn't blame the guy. "He's a dick, but you're talking about a guy who's embarrassed his wife. So he had a choice, and I couldn't judge him. I had to choose between pissing off all the black people in the world or having my wife mad at me? Then the hell with the black people, because he doesn't live with all the black people. He lives with his wife."
Read the complete interview with Chris Rock in the Dec. 1, 2014 issue of New York magazine.
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