Chris Rock: Never Scared

Just when it looked like Chris Rock might have left Saturday Night Live without any job offers, he managed to score his own television show and a couple of HBO specials, and then the Emmys started rolling in. Never Scared is Rock's fourth stand-up routine for HBO and it finds the comedian standing in front of thousands in Washington, DC. As he strolls out like a champion to Nas's "Made You Look," you can't help but share the goose bumps. Taped earlier this year, Never Scared is Chris Rock at the height of his popularity and admiration, but definitely not at the top of his game. Though it has some amusing moments, especially when he talks about the "rules of marriage," it's not even close to being as fresh and hysterical as his Bring the Pain rants, now almost ten years old. Luckily he hasn't gone soft and Rock still delves into the realm of bad taste, easily offending with his cussing and vulgarity, but a lot of his routines come off as preachy in between the actual jokes, which he seems to deliver once and then hammers into the ground for another few minutes. Never Scared has some good insight into the war with Iraq, the Americans that support it and the difference between being rich and wealthy ("black people love rims") but this is not the finest stand-up Chris Rock has to offer. The only extra on the DVD is Rock's first special with HBO called Big Ass Jokes. Filmed in 1993, we get to see a young and nervous Rock fumble quickly through his jokes with very little timing while dressed in a dated Cross Colours ensemble. It's definitely not a career highlight for the talented comedian, but is worth a viewing just for the nostalgia. (HBO/Warner)