Chris Rock makes standup history with Selective Outrage

Photo by: Charlie Martin

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Chris Rock: Selective Outrage is the american comedian’s new Netflix stand-up comedy special. The show streamed live on Netflix on March 4, making it Netflix’s first-ever global live event. 

The special was directed by Joel Gallen and written and performed by Rock. Gallen and Rock were also the executive producers of the event. 

The comedy special is good, but isn’t great. Rock starts off with great energy and remains composed on stage, like a true natural. The comedian moves across the stage quite a bit, but that’s probably just to retain the audience’s attention. 

For a live event, Rock had to have a better stage presence than that of an edited special. For instance, certain jokes could not be cut out immediately if he messed up on stage. He did a good job of adapting to this as he never took a long pause during the one-hour special. 

The writing is good. Rock makes jokes about popular topics that circulate the internet today. What’s great about the special is that Rock makes all different types of jokes which can resonate with different types of people. Some jokes are so immature it’s hard to imagine who could possibly find them hilarious enough to laugh at them alongside more sophisticated ones that resonate with a more mature audience. 

The thing about Selective Outrage is that there’s also a bit of education to it. In the special, Rock lists four ways people get attention and mixes them up with jokes, which really makes the viewer both think and laugh.

Rock also uses the combination of serious topics important today, such as abortion laws, and mixes them with comedy — a combination only some skilled standup comedians can pull off —- and Rock does just that in Selective Outrage. Not only does the viewer laugh, they also leave with some insight after watching the special.

Rock keeps the audience engaged throughout the hour, mostly by sharing personal stories of his life and family and making jokes out of them. 

The special’s ending could’ve been better. Shortly before wrapping up, Rock botches a joke making fun of Will Smith and the infamous incident that took place at the 94th Academy Awards last year, where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage. He messed up the joke so badly that Netflix has since edited the mishap out of the special

Overall, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage is worth the watch. The selling point of the special was that Rock finally publicly addresses how he felt about the Smith incident while he was hosting the Oscars last year.    

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