The other night I had privilege of working with Chris Rock. Yes, that Chris Rock -- the hugely successful, disgustingly rich and undeniably hysterical comedian whose debut HBO special "Bring the Pain" is the sole reason I became interested in stand-up. Granted, our collaboration took place in a dream I had. But goddammit my subconscious is so much more powerful than my waking conscious, so I should probably add "worked with Chris Rock" to my intro, an intro that currently consists of bullshit like, "regularly performs at clubs and colleges all up and down the east coast."
Anyway, in the dream, I'm at a Wisecrackers Comedy Club -- only it's not really a Wisecrackers, it's more of a VFW-type hall. I'm in a back room with the other comics, when a giant black woman enters and informs us -- in a very emotional way -- that Chris Rock has just died. I assume the woman must be Chris Rock's mom because apparently in my dreams kind of a I'm racist, and the thought never occurs to me that non-related black women could be emotionally affected by Chris's death. I approach the woman who, as it turns out, is Chris Rock's mom and attempt to console her. I put my arms around her and ask if there's anything I can do to help. Turns out there is. Chris's mom asks if it would be OK if she brought her son's body into the show. In the background, I notice the other comics emphatically shaking their heads, as I say to Mrs. Rock, "If it will make you feel better, of course you can."
In the showroom, there's a makeshift Chris Rock shrine that includes a beautiful coffin filled the body of the legendary comic, a cardboard cutout of Chris circa the "Bigger and Blacker" era and a couple of huge bodyguards. The booming voice of an announcer informs the room that "We're in the presence of greatness, ladies and gentleman. Nine-time Emmy winner Chris Rock is in attendance tonight." (Note: I found the nine-time Emmy thing to be the most unusual part of the dream.) A spotlight then lights up the Chris Rock memorial viewing area for the audience. Once the spotlight dims, I notice Chris's corpse begins to stir. At first it seems like the involuntary type of post-mortem movement I've heard stories about. But then I see that the movement is voluntary. Chris Rock isn't dead at all, in fact, he's cracking up over the spectacle of his staged memorial. Before the rest of the audience catches on, Rock leaps out of his coffin and takes the stage. He opens with a killer joke about old, dirty panties, but he's soon interrupted by a group of rowdy, Mongolian hecklers. Unfazed, Rock responds with a series of perfectly timed retorts about Genghis Khan and Mongolian stereotypes that shuts up the historically misplaced hecklers.
Before I can talk talk to my favorite comic about his performance, my subconscious yanks me out of the Wisecrackers/VFW and dumps me in a field that's reminiscent of the pumpkin field in "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Cocoa, my neighbor's black lab, is trailing a safe distance behind me. I tell Cocoa to go home, and then I'm awake. I haven't worked with Chris Rock since.