The moment finally came and all Chris Rock had to say was a couple of jokes and an uninformed stump about local voting. Sadly it actually took longer to bike to the Chris Rock for Obama Rally than to hear Chris Rock actually speak. He was introduced by a great speaker from Shaw University, and when Rock came on, he seemed confused and was slow in creating comedic rhetoric.
Chris Rock started off his (very) short speech with a stumbling dialogue about how Saturday was the last day, last day, last day, to vote early in North Carolina. Unfortunately, he never pointed out the fact that a voting station was only a couple of blocks away and simply stated that “early voting ended in 50-some minutes.” He could have been coached a bit better on the locality and reality of this situation. After fumbling through the first couple of minutes of his vote-day speech, Rock continued with various jokes about both Barack Obama and John McCain. Being that Chris Rock was stumping for Obama, it was obvious that McCain would be on the negative end of most of the jokes. But…for only 11 minutes. Give me back my money that I didn’t pay. Please.
To summarize a couple of Rock’s (few) jokes:
“McCain and Obama are in a race of a lifetime. Barack Obama is Kenyan. He has Kenyan blood and one thing is for sure—you can’t beat a Kenyan in a race… I bet you could take a plane to New York and I could get on the back of a Kenyan and beat you there.”
Rock made a couple of jokes about John McCain’s numerous houses, including the fact that “we don’t need a broke president, we just need one that can smell broke… one that knows what broke smells like. John McCain couldn’t smell broke if he tried.”
There was a hearing-impaired translator in the audience and Rock inferred that “There must be some deaf people voting for Obama too. Just point at a black shirt, they’ll know what you’re talking about”. He also urged the audience to get “anyone who has an arm” out to vote.
While it was great to see Chris Rock in a very unassuming setting at an African-American college in downtown Raleigh with less than 300 people, why is it so fascinating to see a famous person in the flesh? We continually asked ourselves this question after seeing Rock’s very short speech today. Why? Is it because these speeches get otherwise uncommitted voters out to the polls? Is it that Hollywood has a pull that your average citizen and your neighbor does not? Either way, someone in the Obama campaign implied that getting Chris Rock into southeast downtown Raleigh was imperative on this last day of early voting. Maybe it worked for a couple of people. Go time is now! Maybe 11 minutes was enough?!