When Chris Rock reports to his dressing room next Thursday for the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, the show's host had better find the following things: cold Mountain Dew, a CD/DVD player, the local papers and Flintstones vitamins. Kiddie chewables? "Yeah," says the 38-year-old comic. "Regular vitamins mess with your stomach." Maybe America's favorite angry black man isn't so tough after all.
TV Guide: How did MTV convince you to host a third time?
Chris Rock: They ask every year. I just don't like doing it every year because music doesn't change that much. So I wait it out. OK, there's no more 'N Sync jokes to tell, no more Backstreet Boys jokes...
TVG: Excuse me for saying this, but you're way out of the MTV demographic. How long do you think they're going to keep calling?
Rock: I'm sure Arsenio was older than me when he hosted it. And Dennis Miller. Age doesn't really matter. They call because I'm a person who actually watches MTV. But who knows? This will probably be my last year.
TVG: Then it might be your last chance to hit on some VMA nominees. I know you're happily married, but if you were single who would you go for?
TVG: Isn't she a bit young?
Rock: OK. I'll give her to R. Kelly then. (Laughs) I'd say Beyoncé, but you don't want to get shot by Jay-Z. So, I don't know. Madonna?
TVG: When you hosted in 1999, you made fun of J.Lo, Ricky Martin, even Regis Philbin. Who's on your hit list this time?
Rock: J.Lo is always going to be popular. I can't wait to see Gigli. You got to talk about 50 Cent, you got to talk about rap in general. Jay-Z puts out an album every three weeks!
TVG: Which albums have you bought recently?
Rock: Metallica, Beyoncé, Lumidee and 50 Cent. My daughter loves Lumidee, so I'm always playing her. (Sings) "Uh-oh, uh-oh."
TVG: Lola Simone just turned 1. How has having a child changed you?
Rock: It's great except that she smokes and it's killing me (Laughs). I actually gained like 15 pounds.
TVGO: Does that mean you'll be hitting the gym?
Rock: Probably not. I'm not fat. I get on the bike, get the cardiovascular going. Everything else is pretty much to get laid. Do you need buff arms to be healthy?
TVG: You played a presidential candidate in Head of State. If you were the commander in chief, what would top your to-do list?
Rock: Well, I'd get the troops home. That's the serious stuff. I'd balance the budget. I'd sell one of the Carolinas, the Dakotas, West Virginia. Something. Do we need to own all of this space? And I'd get Ken Starr to look into the murders of Tupac, Biggie and Jam Master Jay. Somebody's got to figure these rap killings out.
TVG: You once said, "You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is white, the best golfer is black and the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese." Any other signs the world is going crazy?
Rock: I was driving the other day, listening to the radio, and a club had "men's night." Men's night?
TVG: Speaking of men, what's up with you and Bill Maher?
Rock: People have a love/hate relationship with Bill Maher. But Bill put me on [his show]. My career was just nothing after Saturday Night Live. I was in this house in Brooklyn, you know, eating Chinese food, and his people called me up and said, "Hey, you want to be the political correspondent on Politically Incorrect?" I got to cover all the elections, and my career started back up again. So I owe a tremendous debt to Bill Maher.
TVG: Former VMA host Eddie Murphy "discovered" you. Have you ever razzed him?
Rock: I've never told an Eddie Murphy joke in my life. He's like the godfather in GoodFellas. All respect to Paulie.
TVG: But Paulie didn't get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You did. What was that like?
Rock: It's all great, but I'm 38, not 78. If that star is the last [thing] I win, then I've had a [lousy] career. You'll go, "What happened to that guy? Man, he was funny. Remember?"
TVG: Where do you keep the three Emmys and the Grammy you won?
Rock: Up somewhere on some shelf. There's no trophy room in my house. There are no pictures of me at awards shows with famous people. You win an award, you hold it, and you go home. And then you're the guy who won it last year.