Tonight, NBC is airing a repeat of the Chris Rock – Prince episode of “Saturday Night Live,” which is probably the one episode that we’ve already written in as the biggest letdown of the year. We’ve always found Rock to be a tremendous comic, and someone who works incredibly hard in order to ensure that he represents his point of view effectively.
Despite all of his brilliance, we thought that most of the show was humdrum, at times sloppy, and also dull. One sketch in particular between him and Leslie Jones was so atrocious, we wish deeply that we could get some of that time back and never have to speak of it again.
What we want to focus on today is the sketch that made us laugh, but also stirred up the most controversy after the fact: Rock’s monologue, where he told a series of jokes revolving around the Boston Marathon and the existence of the Freedom Tower that many felt were insensitive.
We’ve went back and watched it again in preparation for tonight’s repeat airing, with the shock factor of it now gone and with added perspective. Do we find it more offensive now? If anything, probably less because we know the jokes are coming. Then again, we were never particular upset over it in the first place.
We do understand that the humor here could hit a little close to home, and we feel like everyone has their own mechanisms for working through difficult times. For some, laughter really is a great medicine. For others, they may find these sort of jokes hurtful. That’s why comedy is so subjective, but we give Rock credit for really taking a risk here rather than delivering a safe monologue no one remembers. Regardless of your take on the comedy itself, it never feels like it is coming from a hurtful place whatsoever. If you don’t like it, you’ve obviously received some advance warning and can tune it out. Nothing in the rest of the show comes close to crossing any lines.