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October 10, 2015

Chris Rock has a Merry Madagascar with the family

by Nick Zaino, posted Nov 16th 2009 10:02AM
Chris Rock Merry MadagascarChris Rock has the kind of status as a comedian that allows him to work on any project he wants. He produced the documentary Good Hair, he's writing a book, and he has been working on back-to-back film shoots.

Tuesday at 8 PM on NBC, you'll hear his voice in Merry Madagascar, playing Marty the zebra for the third time, along with returning regulars Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith. He's confident it's not the last time he'll voice Marty, either, with Madagascar 3 in the works.

So why does a guy who can do anything he wants spend time in front of a microphone pretending to be a cartoon animal?

"Money," he says jokingly, speaking on a conference call on Wednesday. "No, no they're good. You realize as you get longer in this business, the only thing that keeps you working is doing good stuff. You know, I mean the box office is great, too, but if people don't like what you do the moment the box office isn't fair, they don't want to work with you anymore."

It might be tempting to think Rock, whose comedy is not often family friendly and does a lot of work young kids wouldn't be allowed to see, got involved to have something to watch with his own family. But that, he says, wasn't the case. At least at the start.

"It's weird," says Rock. "Me and Ben started the first Madagascar with no kids. We didn't have kids when the movie started, and I don't even think we were even thinking about kids, to tell you the truth, the couple times we were in the studio together. Cut to the movie comes out -- we both have kids. Cut to Madagascar 2, he's got three and I've got two."

Rock says his five-year-old, Zahra, was too young to watch the first one when it came out, but his seven-year-old, Lola, enjoyed it. Now they have both watched the first two movies, and let people know about it. "They get very excited," says Rock. "And my youngest daughter, Zahra, she's a bragger. She's very quick to tell people her daddy is Marty the zebra."

They'll watch Merry Madagascar together this year on Tuesday. "They're looking forward to this one," says Rock. "I haven't let them watch it, even though I got a little advanced screening tape. So they'll watch it on TV like everybody else."

The Rock household is partial to Christmas classics like the Grinch and Charlie Brown, and the somewhat more obscure Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. "I know they're all sweet and they're just really good, especially that Magoo one," he says. "I haven't seen that one in a while. Now I'm like, okay, I got to download it so I can show it to my kids today."

The Madagascar series has had an influence on Rock. It convinced him to visit Africa, something he had never done. Now he goes on safari every year, and brought his family out for Christmas a couple of years ago. Zahra and Lola weren't sure that Christmas would get to them out at the lodge, but it was a merry Christmas ending.

"My kids are really young, and they were so scared Santa wasn't going to show," he remembers. "And just the look on their faces, you know, when their toys were under a tree in Africa. Kind of cool."

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Cool! It's nice to see new holiday specials. I love the old ones, but it's been forever since we've had a new holiday show that has the ability to transform into a classic. I think the last ones to do that were Adam Sandler's works.
And none that I can recall as being so special we'd want to watch every year , for christmas holidays.

November 16 2009 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wulfn1's comment

wow, the last line didn't work right.
I mean , there have been no new christmas specials that are must views , in a long time.

November 16 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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