Chris Rock Was Almost “The Black Friend” on ‘Friends’

Torry Threadcraft Torry Threadcraft is a contributing writer at Okayplayer where he…
Photo Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Chris Rock recalls three iconic franchises he nearly landed roles on.

On the latest episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Chris Rock stopped by to talk his new special Total Blackout: The Tamborine Extended Cut. The two talked about how hard it is to do comedy without a live audience, as well as their brushes with comedic legends like Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Steve Martin. Watch the full interview below.

When asked about a rumor, Rock revealed three potential roles that didn’t work out. The first: he was originally in the running to play George Costanza on Seinfeld. The role eventually went to Jason Alexander, who earned seven Primetime Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe nominations for his performance on the show.

“There was a lot of NBC talk,” Rock said. “There was talk about Seinfeld, there was talk about me being one of the Friends at one point…I would’ve been the Black friend. That’s basically who I am to America anyway, at this point.”

Despite the shows’ success, Rock believes it all worked out for the better. “Let’s just say the good people at Seinfeld made the right choice,” he continued. “He’s good, he’s amazing.”

In addition to Friends and Seinfeld, Rock was almost tapped for a minor role on The Cosby Show. Like the other roles he mentioned, it didn’t work out for some reason or another.

“I was supposed to be Cockroach on The Cosby Show,” he recalled with a smile on his face. “Where I was Theo’s best friend. Thank God that didn’t happen. Think about the world right now, Bill Cosby’s in jail, and Snoop Dogg is the number-one pitchman in America.”

Chris Rock’s Total Blackout: Tamborine, Extended Cut is currently available to stream on Netflix. The “remix” edition of his 2018 special features 33 new minutes of material.

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