January 25th, 2009
03:45 PM ET

Chris Rock: Obama speech was just OK

Reviews are still coming in for President Barack Obama's inaugural address. Chris Rock is weighing in, and his reaction might be summed up in one word: "eh."

He told CNN International producer/reporter Katie Walmsley, "He's got like five better speeches in his pocket for when he needs them."

Rock said he thinks President Obama made a tactical decision not to use his best oratory during the speech, because he'll need to draw on even greater rhetorical firepower if the country really hits the skids. OK, he didn't exactly say "hit the skids." He used a more colorful term to suggest the dire condition we will be in if the economic situation worsens.

Rock didn't travel to D.C. for the inauguration. He watched the proceedings at the Sundance Film Festival, just before he did an interview with Walmsley about his new documentary called "Good Hair" (it explores how African-American women perceive themselves and their hair).

I talked with him at a dinner party hosted by Bon Appetit magazine for the filmmakers in Sundance and if he was excited about Obama taking office, I had a hard time detecting it. He did take a swipe at the outgoing president, however.

When I asked him if he had any hopes or fears regarding Obama's presidency he responded, "Fears? How could it get any worse?"


- Matthew Carey, CNN Entertainment Producer

Filed under: Uncategorized

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soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. V.Brown

    If you've gained 125lbs over a five year period, you are not going to lose it all in one month. Only God could turn water into wine. This is NOT a recession; it's a full-fledged DEPRESSION. IGNORANCE and stupidity STILL know no bounds. One who is dumb can be educated. One who is naively ignorant can be enlightened. IGNORANT people are stupid and proud of it. I NEVER,EVER before heard anyone say, "I hope the President fails." Uttering that unpatriotic, uncouth dribble should be labeled treasonous. To those(you know who you are) who are so inclined, be ashamed and be glad that you weren't around during the McCarthy Era, or live in a communist country.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dave's Mom

    Dave said: "Chris Rock is a vulgar piece of **** who relies on a foul mouth in place of a real comedy routine."

    Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this statement?

    No internet for you tonight, young man. You're grounded.

    February 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    Chris Rock is a vulgar piece of crap who relies on a foul mouth in place of a real comedy routine.

    February 2, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Chris Rock rules!!

    February 2, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    Did you ever notice how CNN deletes comments that are posted on this blog? One comment suggesting prayer to God for the presidents was removed. Another Anti Obama comment was removed. What a joke!!!

    January 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kinko

    Honestly, it is utterly impossible to make every single American happy. Obama, Clinton, Hillary that is, Bush, Clinton, Bill that is or John McCain...they are going to have there critics. People are wishing Obama to fail before he's even had an opportunity to do something. George B was given a chance, he messed up and he recv'd critisism for it. Give Obama a chance, if you don't like it, don't vote for him again in 2012. Stop all your crying and hateful remarks, you can't change the fact that AMERICA voted this man into office. And I agree with a few post, if Obama fails, then WE ALL FAIL....hey stupid!!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cmgrayson

    I know that the banks have taken the bailout money and are using it to buy private jets (that is, until someone finds out and calls them on it) and are using it to pay bonuses (that is, until someone finds out and calls them out it). I didn't learn that from any of Obama's speeches. I treat every president with respect, and there are a lot of other people who do the same, and plenty of times, as a matter of fact most of the time – it's not the guy I voted for.

    January 29, 2009 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill A.

    There is no plan in hope! So for those of you who hope for his failure good luck, for the rest of us, I am glad he at least has a plan. Did you not notice that we are in this mess because of the Bush administration?

    January 29, 2009 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    Plenty of people hated on Bush and wished him the worst, and that was considered patriotic, humorous and fashionable then , correct? Well then you can expect the same type of disrespectful attitude toward Obama. He should be villified, abused and spit upon in the same manner as Bush and be cut no slack. Let the slandering begin.

    January 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Laurie

    I appreciate all the comments. But let's face facts, Obama's rhetoric is just that. Eloquent rhetoric???? I don't want speeches, I don't need to see Obama's face every day...telling me that he is "transparent". Trying to make us think he is communicating to us...he is only talking to us...that's it. His policies are going to ruin this country. Oh, it was HORRIBLE when the deficit was caused by GW's policies and war time efforts. But the deficit spending is FABULOUS when Obama says he is going to spend over 1 TRILLION dollars of OUR hard earned money on what???? It's all TALK TALK TALK....nothing more. What do you know about the Bailout money that came from Obama's speeches??? Do you know any more than you did before he was elected? As for Obama failing, I hope his policies fail....fail to happen. But they won't and the republicans will be rehired to clean up his horrible mess. REMEMBER JIMMY CARTER....

    January 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cmgrayson

    Beth would probably criticize Jesus Christ if he ran.

    January 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cmgrayson

    Good question, Nancy. If I can support Bush for 8 years(I did), and his dad for 4 years (I did) and Reagan for 8 years (I did) then you can support Obama. Enough with the sour grapes – would you rather the country fails because your guy didn't win? My guy didn't win quite a few times.

    January 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sunny Stewart

    I concur w/AF, wishing failure on the President is wishing failure on the country!
    Smacks of a lack of patriotism, dont you think?

    January 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Treena

    I don't understand why some people want Obama to fail. If he fails, so do you, so does America.

    January 28, 2009 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nancy

    So Beth, who do you think the ideal candidate would have been?

    January 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Frank from Houston

    The way I see it - ANYBODY is better than Hillary....

    January 26, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  17. AF

    correction....hopes he will fail....
    correction....rally, not rallying.....

    good thing I'm not his speech writer 🙂

    January 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  18. AF

    For anyone who thinks that Obama will fail or hopeshe will fail....shame on you! For the rest of us who support and rallying behind our President (and his speeches), be thankful we're not having to listen to Bush anymore! That man couldn't put an eloquent sentence together if his life depended on it. Who the hek cares what Chris Rock thinks about the speech, who is he and what has he done to inspire a country to come together? Seriously!!! This country needs to unite behind our elected leader and get over this attitude of ME FIRST!!!

    –my two cents

    January 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  19. AJ

    someone's still bitter about the elections.

    January 26, 2009 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  20. Dave

    Four words: I hope he fails!!

    January 26, 2009 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
  21. Beth

    That's an typical response to Laurie. When are the American people going to realize what charletans we have for politicians? It's not a matter of "turning it off", it's realizing what a *(&^-job we Americans are getting for leaders!

    January 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. cmgrayson

    So don't listen, Laurie. I turned off the tv a few times on George W. Bush.

    January 25, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Beth

    Current president is just one more blow-hard politician, only now....he's just a different color and and everyone is falling all over him. Big deal....we need a good businessman in the presidency, one who isn't afraid to tac-nuke when necessary. God, I am so sick of this hype.

    January 25, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  24. glad

    well,in part of the campaign you to have to give the essence and spice.of the speech.Excuses..always part of exemption to the rule.We just cross are finger,what is the best for our counrty!!!

    January 25, 2009 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  25. BRENDA

    please after bush what this country needs now is a good organizer
    to help us work together to rebuild america – i don't care if obama says
    another word as long as he can get the right people together to start a recovery plan to get our country back to it's former greatness.god knows if we could see what was coming if we don't. i think people would stop all of this in- fighting and work toward helping the president instead of complaining about everything he says.
    he's obama – not martin luther king! and remeber the taliban is still out there – they have no problem killing all of us.so america stop being so short-sighted -figure out ways that we all can work for a better america -that's what i believe barack obama is going to do.
    if not god help us all!

    January 25, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Laurie

    Haha, that's so funny. Excuses, excuses, and more excuses about Obama....anything that is not SPECTACULAR about him, there will always be excuses. Oh, he didn't really mean what he said, or OH, he didn't know about this or that. Please, Chris, SAVING his best for last????? Now I've heard it all. How about this....Obama's speeches are worn out old campaign rhetoric that we've all heard a million times before and there really isn't anything else to say or hear from him.

    January 25, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |

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