Family, everyday events part of comics' routines


Typical Chris Rock material: Anything goes. Mr. Rock says he doesn't like to hold back when it comes to joke writing, even if it means not always being politically correct. His own family can't even escape being the subjects of jokes. One of his more popular routines is about his mother always buying off-brand, generic, cheap food, especially peanut-butter with jelly already mixed in it. Mr. Rock says he always hated that stuff, comparing it to "buying a shoe with a sock already in it."

Typical jokes: "Nothing's scarier than poor, white people. Even white people are scared of poor white people. They live under the trailer. They're not white trash, they're white toxic waste."

"[Women], stop going on Oprah and complaining you can't find a man. You put a pot on the stove every day at 6 o'clock, a man will show up for that pot. . . . Anyone can [have sex] but gravy is a whole other story."

Typical Tommy Davidson material: Whatever comes off the top of his head. Mr. Davidson follows a more stream-of-consciousness method to comedy and uses running jokes throughout his routine. Also known for doing good impressions.

Typical routine: Includes impressions of Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, Sammy Davis Jr. and Stevie Wonder. Early on in one bit Mr. Davidson says it was so hot recently that he saw a cat on the sidewalk carrying a can of soda. Throughout his routine that same cat with the soda will make a visit into other jokes, each time getting more and more ridiculous.

On the phone, and while watching daytime television, Mr. Davidson comments that there are too many talk shows on TV. "Everybody's got a talk show these days," he says, "pretty soon, even Gary Coleman will have a talk show." In a different voice he says, "It's the Gary Coleman show!" Back to his phone voice he says, "Wonder what kind of guests he'd have on?"

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