More than two decades after first airing, the first two seasons of “The Chris Rock Show” are available to stream on HBO Max.
The late-night talk show created and hosted by Rock originally aired on HBO over five seasons, from 1997 to 2000. Starting Friday, June 25, Season 1 (7 episodes) and Season 2 (12 episodes) are on HBO Max.
“The Chris Rock Show,” which won an Emmy for writing in 1999, showcased the actor-comedian’s singular comedic sketches and pointed social commentary. Legendary DJ and rapper Grandmaster Flash served as the show’s musical director.
The series premiere of the half-hour variety show featured a performance by Prince of “Emancipation” — but that was cut from the home-video release and isn’t in the version available on HBO Max. Guests in the first two seasons of “The Chris Rock” included Whoopi Goldberg, Tracy Morgan, Mary J. Blige, Conan O’Brien, George Carlin, Usher, Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran, Arsenio Hall, LL Cool J, Wyclef Jean and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Variety‘s 1997 review of “The Chris Rock Show” said it “wakes you like a jolt of espresso at 12:30 a.m. … The man has charisma and attitude to burn, and this offbeat format plays well to Rock’s strengths.”
HBO Max also has three of Rock’s HBO standup specials, “Bigger & Blacker,” “Never Scared” and “Kill the Messenger.”
“We’re thrilled to have ‘The Chris Rock Show’ on HBO Max so that subscribers can revisit one of comedy’s most iconic series,” said Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of HBO Programming. “Chris has never been afraid to take risks and challenge norms, and both guests and viewers embraced this.”
Rock is part of this year’s Variety Actors on Actors series, in a conversation with Nicole Kidman. He’s a contender this Emmy season for his starring role in Season 4 of FX’s “Fargo,” in which Rock plays ’50s crime boss Loy Cannon.
Rock’s other notable credits include his sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” (2005–09), which he created and narrated, and “Saturday Night Live,” where he was cast member from 1989 to 1993.
Watch a clip from “The Chris Rock Show”: