Chris Rock

Full name Christopher Julius Rock III, the perennial jokester and ofter provocateur was born in 1965 in South Carolina and raised in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy. His father was a trucker and deliveryman who died of a stomach ulcer 1988, and his mother was a social worker. After dropping out of high school due to racially charged bullying (don't worry he eventually got his GED and got to laugh in the face of those bullies when he got rich), Rock worked a series of highly paid, dignified, lucrative fast-food restaurant gigs while he began to experiment with stand-up comedy.

In 1984 Rock joined the New York stand-up show Catch a Rising Star, and quickly landed himself spots on Miami Vice. After befriending Eddie Murphy (nbd), he earned his first film role in Beverley Hills Cop III. In 1990 he joined SNL, and became part of the "Bad Boys of SNL," a group that included Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, and David Spade. He left the show in 1993, and after trying out a few TV shows and releasing a few solo albums for which he won three Emmy's, one for writing and two for stand-up, he got his first big screen roles in the late 90's with Dogma and Beverley Hills Ninja.

In 2005, Rock opened his segment hosting the Oscars with "Welcome to the 77th and last Oscars!" He was a controversial choice as host, and did himself no favors by reportedly calling the Oscars "idiotic." The show's ratings that year did not rise from the previous year.

Rock currently lives in Alpine, NJ with his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, and two daughters.

[Image via Getty]