Another swig of ‘tussin from Chris Rock …

A while ago, I posted It takes more than a swig of ‘tussin…

The punch line to the post was that Chris Rock — a very funny guy — takes his craft very seriously and toils long and hard to test and fine-tune his material.

His routine on the many uses of Robitussin (‘tussin, for short) is a comedy classic.

If you haven’t seen the ‘tussin riff– or want a refresher — click to view it now.



Rock homes his skits standing up in comedy clubs … for example, he said he worked the Comedy Cellar for a week prior his recent guest spot on SNL.

In a recent interview, Rock talked about an emerging threat to his practiced work routine …


The culprit: cell phones used to record his “practice” in the comedy clubs.

A couple of snippets from the interview that caught my eye:

The thing about us comedians is that we’re the only ones who practice in front of a crowd.

Prince doesn’t run a demo on the radio. But in stand-up, the demo gets out.

There are a few guys good enough to write a perfect act and get onstage, but everybody else workshops it and workshops it, and it can get real messy.

Comedians need a place where we can work on that stuff.


A few days ago I was talking with another comedian, and he was exercised about the new reality that any comedian who is trying out material that’s a little out there can be screwed by someone who blasts it on Twitter or a social network.


Before everyone had a recording device and was wired like the Mob’s Sammy the Bull you’d say something that went too far, and you’d go, “Oh, I went too far,” and you would just brush it off.

But if you think you don’t have room to make mistakes, it’s going to lead to safer, gooier stand-up. You can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched.


I just had a conversation with the people at the Comedy Cellar about how we can make cell phones into cigarettes.

If you would have told me years ago that they were going to get rid of smoking in comedy clubs, I would have thought you were crazy.

Now, you just watch to make sure nobody tapes it. You watch and you watch hard. And you make sure the doorman’s watching.

Rock on, Chris.


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: