J. Prince – The last name “Rock” has become a huge last name in the comedy world most notably for the comedian Chris Rock. Tony Rock is the Younger Brother of Chris Rock and continues to carry on the Family name. Rock has joined the new wave of triple threat comedians; He does Television, Movies and Stand Up. If you think this hard Working Comedian is looking to get fame of his big brother then you got another thing coming! Rock has quickly become one of the top Comedians In the Country. I was able to sit Down with Tony To Find out where he is coming from and where he is going. For those who have been under a Rock this past decade let our readers now who Tony Rock Is? Tony Rock is the 4th born son of Julius and Rose. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I am a Comedian and Actor, A true ‘Rock’Star.
N54: What was it like at the Dinner table with such a Big Family; I imagine it was non-stop jokes? We always said our childhood could be a sitcom and my brother actually made it happen. Growing up in such a big family was normal to me. I learned patience, the art of debate, teamwork and to eat fast. Unfortunately I still always cook way too much.
N54: Where does the Comedic quality come from, were your parents and grand parents funny people? Just about everyone in my family is funny in their own way. My Grandfather was hilarious. I have uncles that I believe have missed their calling as comedians. My mother always stressed education and I’ve always thought the better comics were the smarter ones. It went hand in hand with my family’s natural abilities.
N54: Who were some of the comedians you looked up to early on? Early on I looked up to Richard Pryor only. I would sneak and listen to his albums then recite them at school the next day. He was and still is a comic I can listen to over and over and laugh as if it’s my first time hearing him. When I started going to comedy clubs I was a fan of everyone because of the many different styles.
N54: What made you want to get into comedy? I’ve always been attracted to stand up comedy before I even knew it was a job. If I had to credit someone it would be my brother Chris. He recognized my attraction to it and nurtured my talents. He would let me listen to comedy albums all the time (Woody Allen, George Carlin, Pryor, Murphy, Kinison). He was Dr. Frankenstein and I am his creation.
N54: Did you ever feel any pressure while pursuing comedy being the younger Brother of Chris Rock? None. That’s something people create. We’re brothers. Big brother does everything first in every family. Regardless of whether I did stand up or not we would still be brothers and out paths in life would still be our own. Plus, I’ve always known I could exceed expectations.
N54: At what point were you like hey “I can really do this”? You have your moments. A great set or a standing ovation always makes you feel you can really do this. Then there are the nights you leave the club thinking ‘maybe college isn’t a bad idea’. If it’s in your heart nothing can deter you.
N54: When did you get you first break? Your whole career is a series of ‘breaks’. When I first got into the regular rotation at the NY clubs that was a huge break at the time. My first road gig, first audition, first TV appearance are all big breaks. I couldn’t say one was bigger than the other. I’m happy for them all.
N54: What Challenges Did You face early on? Glad you asked. The challenge, I had the distinct honor of facing all alone was, when I started , most black comics wouldn’t talk to me. They felt I was being passed along and being shown preferential treatment because ‘he’s Chris Rocks brother’. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I started my brother and I had discussed this and we agreed the only way to truly appreciate the journey would be to take it alone. He never got me an audition, a meeting, agent or gig. I did it my way!
N54: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage? I’ve been thru it all. I’ve been booed off stage, had guys throw things on stage, and threatened after shows. It comes with the territory. I don’t embarrass easily.
N54: I know that you were able to land roles on a few sitcoms. How did those opportunities come about? I’m constantly working. If you’re constantly working you’re putting yourself in a position to capitalize. Some of the sitcoms and movies have come along due to someone seeing me on stage and thinking ‘this guy would be good for this project’. Hard work is its own reward.
N54: You have been a few movies as well. What were they? Life Support (Queen Latifah), Homie Spumoni (Donald Faison,Whoopi Goldberg,Paul Mooney) 3 Can Play That Game (Vivica Fox, Jason George) Think Like a Man (Romany Malco, Megan Good, Kevin Hart)
N54: Was it a tough transition for you getting into film and movies, being that you have a stand up background? No. Staying consistent in one area will open up opportunities in another because they respect the work. I’ve probably been the most consistent comic over the last few years as far as quality material and performance. No one works as hard as me.
N54: Do you think you will ever leave stand up and just do TV and Films? Never What was the best advice that you have received in this business? I’ve been blessed to receive so much advice from so many great people. The thing that has always resonated with me is ‘Stay the course’. My brother told me that damn near 20 years ago. It’s become a Rock family mantra.
N54: What are your thoughts of the younger comedians that are coming up? There are some really talented young comics that I see daily. If they understand the discipline, and work ethic it takes they should be fine.
N54: What Advice would you give to upcoming comedians? You can have anything in this world. If you’re willing to work for it, there are no obstacles and your only competition is you.
N54: In Your Opinion how has social Media helped your grind? Tremendously. You can reach a fan base you might not have even known about before it’s the greatest asset to comics in years.
N54: So far you have accomplished a lot in the comedy world TV, Stand Up, and Movies. What else would you like to achieve in this business? I’m just getting warm. I want to produce another TV show, write a movie, star in a film with my brother, and write a book. Stay tuned.
N54: What projects are you currently working on now? I’m touring with the Royal Comedy Tour, new movie Mar 9th, David Talbert play in May, Co starring on Let’s Stay Together. I’m always working
N54: If you could direct a Movie with an all-star cast of comedians, who would be in the Movie? The comedians can be Dead or alive… Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, and the Rock brothers. That would be fun.
N54: When it’s all said and done how do you want to be remembered? Funny dude
N54: How can Fans and Promoters get in contact with you? TonyRockComedy.com
N54: Final Thoughts? If the game shakes me or breaks me, I hope it makes me a better man’. Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way