Chris Rock’s new Netflix special “Tamborine” is nothing short of laugh-out-loud funny. Casually dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, Rock, an established stand-up legend, wraps politics, social issues and personal experiences into a hilarious one-hour performance in a Brooklyn theatre. Through his great on-stage demeanor and noticeable passion, Rock displays the enthusiasm of a comedian half his age while still intertwining the maturity and wisdom of an experienced adult into his routine.
The first half of Rock’s act focuses predominantly on political and social matters. He addresses some of our country’s most controversial topics such as police brutality, racism and gun control. Rock intertwines his opinions on such matters with absolutely absurd punchlines, making it nearly impossible for you not to chuckle while watching. When bringing up the current presidential situation, Rock offers a fresh, upbeat perspective. While incorporating a variety of notable historical figures, Rock acknowledges that good things are inevitable upon Trump’s eventual exit. Obviously, Rock’s segment includes some hilarious quotes where he stretches logical opinions into hilarious concepts.
His seamless transition from these general matters to his own personal life revealed a slightly more sentimental, yet equally comical, side of Chris Rock. Rock confesses his infidelity and self-centeredness which resulted in his lengthy divorce process. For an occasional second here and there, Rock may sound more like a preacher than a comedian. However, crude humor and vulgar punchlines make this special impossible to mistake for a sermon. Rock expands on his central topic of divorce by spending a lot of time discussing relationships. Rock covers various aspects of relationships such as observations he has made first-hand and how the Internet age has completely revolutionized dating. The weirdest (and arguably funniest) moment of this special occurs during this bit on relationships when Rock jumps up and down shaking his imaginary “Tamborine.” This particular joke displays Rock’s fondness for making light of the complexity of romance.
Rock’s material on both fatherhood and religion is spectacular. Based on his observations of how schools and parents treat their kids, Rock notes that children are sheltered from the unfairness, disappointment, and cruelty of the real world. He claims to prevent this error by sporadically ambushing his daughters with absurd and goofy disciplinary tactics. Rock also confesses his failure to understand religion. He mocks the fact that many religions claim to believe in an all-powerful, flawless God by citing porcupines and quicksand as examples of mistakes. Rock even goes as far as asking the audience: “You ever been to Mississippi? Mistake! M-I-S-S-T-A-K-E.”
I knew that Chris Rock was regarded as one of the funniest stand-up comedians in the industry, but I had never really seen much of his work. When I had heard some anticipation around his new Netflix special, I decided to give it a shot and it certainly did not disappoint. Yeah, his jokes were hilarious, but his delivery, body language and facial expressions somehow made them even funnier. I laughed an abnormal amount of times for a one hour period. Even in between jokes, Rock managed to keep me entertained, and this skillful transitioning between punchlines only made his jokes that much funnier. While some of his subject matter may sound serious, Rock remains hilariously satirical, never even giving audience members a chance to catch their breath. The various perspectives he casually shares greatly compliment his hilarious jokes making this special an overall enjoyable watch. I highly recommend this program for anybody seeking some good laughs.