Chris Rock has never been afraid to speak his mind.
Over the years, the veteran stand up comedian, who performs at sold out shows 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, at the Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, has taken on race, politics and American culture, among other hot topics.
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For his Total Blackout Tour — his first such outing in nearly a decade — he’s also looking inward, having recently divorced his wife of 18 years, Malaak Compton-Rock.
The multiple Emmy and Grammy-winner’s extended return to stand up — his tour is set to wrap in January in London — marks another turning point in an incredibly successful career that has included TV, movies, stand-up specials and several turns as host of the Academy Awards.
Ahead of his appearance at the Borgata, here are five things to know about Rock:
His divorce is fodder for his act
Don’t expect Rock to exactly wear his heart on his sleeve — that’s not his style. But calling his latest run “The Alimony Tour,” he’s almost certain to include material about the demise of his marriage.
“I wasn’t a good husband. It was all my fault,” he told an audience earlier this month in Pittsburgh, saying he cheated on his wife with three women on a tour before the divorce.
“All the women in here are like: ‘I thought you were better than that,’” he said, according to a review in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “And all the men are like, ‘Three? I work at UPS and I’ve slept with more women than that.’”
He’s (literally) moving on
Rock’s circa 1901 carriage house in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, N.Y., is on the market for $3.85 million.
The three bedroom home, which Rock purchased for $370,000, includes such details as a loft-style living/dining space, a master bedroom with skylights and stained glass windows, and the most important feature in New York City — a two-car garage.
No cellphones allowed
Rock is among a growing list of entertainers, including Louis C.K., Guns N’ Roses and Dave Chappelle, to ban cellphones cameras and recording devices from their live shows.
Audiences are asked to place phones and smart watches in secure Yondr pouches that will remain locked until the conclusion of the performance. However, you can keep the pouch with your phone during the show and use it at “designated Yondr unlocking stations in the lobby,” according to Rock’s website.
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Let the cell user beware: “Anyone caught with a cellphone in the venue will be immediately ejected.”
Prince will be present
On each stop of his tour, Rock displays a framed photo of the late pop icon Prince, with whom he was friends. According to Rolling Stone, Rock’s crew at each venue must set up a different photo of Prince in Rock’s dressing room.
Rock caught one of Prince’s last performances on New Year’s Eve 2015 in St. Bart’s. Rock recalls being upset that Prince’s entourage didn’t seem to have familiar faces, like a girlfriend or a close friend. “He just seemed all alone,” Rock told Rolling Stone.
He has his own ‘Solange’
Rock’s younger brother Jordan Rock is also a stand up comedian who refers to himself as “the Solange of my family” — a reference to the younger sister of megastar Beyonce, the lesser-known Solange Knowles.
What’s more, another younger sibling, Tony, does stand up, as well. However, the less-famous brothers in their professional lives “have kept a distance” from their superstar sibling, according to a New York Times article.
Part of the reason is “a generational gulf” and part is Chris Rock’s outsized fame: both Tony, 42, and Jordan, 26, got their starts well after Chris Rock, 52, became a household name.