Plot: What’s it about?
Before he became a comedic sensation and host of his own talk show on HBO, Chris Rock was a regular performer on Saturday Night Live. While he started out as a minor player, he soon created some hilarious characters, and became of the most popular performers on the show. Rock’s stand up skills found a place here, with his Weekend Update editorials and monologues. Rock uses social issues, such as racism, and creates humorous commentaries and characters. While most of his characters on the show involve some type of stereotype, the material is funny as hell, and you can tell Rock is having a ball while doing it.
On Saturday Night Live, Rock showed off his talents well, including both character work and more stand up driven material. Regardless of which character he is playing, there is always fantastic dialogue and some social relevance. Combining outrageous characters and antics with witty dialogue, Rock quickly became of one my favorite SNL cast members. Some of Rock’s more memorable sketches include playing Luther Campbell of The 2 Live Crew, the host of I’m Chillin’, black activist Nat X, and contestant on the Bensonhurst Dating Game. His portrayal of Luther Campbell stands as one of the finest impersonations in the show’s history. The classic sketches based on the Def Comedy Jams, such as Def Magic Jam and Def E.R. Jam are also included. This is a nice compilation of Rock’s better work on the show, fans of Rock or the show will not want to miss out on this release.
This release is another in Trimark’s line of Saturday Night Live discs, with each disc featuring the best of a different cast member. The disc shows a nice array of Rock’s better material from his tenure on the show, and organizes it well, it’s easy to find the sketch you want. In addition to the various sketches, the disc also features some of Rock’s monologues and Weekend Update appearances, creating a total canvas for Rock’s SNL career. This isn’t a brief presentation either, with over seventy minutes in the main feature, as well as a couple bonus sketches. With this much hilarious material, the release makes for an easy recommendation. Fans of Chris Rock will want to race to pick this up, and those who follow Saturday Night Live will find this worthwhile as well.
Video: How does it look?
The feature is presented in a full frame transfer, which maintains the original broadcast aspect ratio. This looks sharper than broadcast, so I am pleased with the overall image quality. Colors and flesh tones look natural and bright, and no compression errors surface here. The black levels are good, with no overly dark regions or blooming present.
Audio: How does it sound?
With material like this, not much audio is called for aside from dialogue. As such, the stereo track is adequate here, and makes the audio experience quite nice. This sounds better than the television show, and I think that’s all we could hope for with this type of material.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The disc includes sketch information, as well as two bonus segments, one a The Dark Side clip, the other a skit from Weekend Update.