On September 27th, Chris Rock’s new comedy special entitled Kill the Messenger aired exclusively on HBO. This was his 6th HBO special, but the first one where I’ve felt like the outspoken Rock was holding his tongue. I suppose I was misled by the interview he held with Larry King a few days prior to the actual special. In the interview, I saw glimpses of a highly politicized stand-up routine where Rock took jabs at everyone from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin and Osama Bin Laden. However, none of these clips actually made the final cut for Kill the Messenger. Check out these clips from the interview, that were removed from the HBO special:
As I was discussing these clips with the president of The Harvard Crimson, brother Malcolm Glenn, it occurred to us that these clips might have been intentionally removed because of their scathing political implications. Think about it… don’t these seem like glaring omissions? I laughed harder at these clips than I did at most of the material I saw on HBO. Furthermore, they were aired on national television during Rock’s interview on Larry King Live, so they were clearly intended to be included in the special. Why were they removed?
To be completely fair, there was some political content in Kill the Messenger. Rock made a few references to the McCain/Palin campaign as well as Barak Obama, however the majority of his routine focused on relationship issues. I expected Rock to draw from today’s heightened political atmosphere fueled by controversial primaries and historic presidential campaigns – especially since he’s always been a political and social commentator. However, Kill the Messenger left much to be desired, politically and comically. It was neither as funny as Bring the Pain nor as socially relevant as Bigger and Blacker or Never Scared. But I don’t blame Chris. Someone decided to remove at least two controversial clips from the final cut. Who knows what else was omitted from the final special, who demanded it, or why.