The Tony Rock Project

Common Sense Media says

Sketchy comedy makes fun of social stereotypes.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show attempts to explore prejudice and stereotyping through humor. It contains endless stereotypical references about race and ethnicity. Class and gender are occasionally discussed. While some of the stereotyping is intended to send a message about the absurdity behind it, it isn't always successful.

Violence

Some pushing, shoving, and hitting in some of the sketches and during some of the hidden-camera segments. Lots of visual and verbal references to racially motivated confrontations between police officers and African Americans. One sketch features an African-American man being Tasered by a police officer. Some references to gangs and hitting women.

Sex

Some mild sexual innuendo, including references to fake "boobs," pornography, and "hot chicks." The term "lollipop" is sometimes used to describe someone's backside.

Language

Audible language includes words like "hell," "ass," and "bastards." Stronger curses like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped (mouths are blurred), but occasionally the words are still understandable.

Consumerism

Some of the sketches include references to shows like COPS and Punk'd. Rock spoofs people like
Prince and plays tricks on Gary Coleman.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional references to drugs and alcohol -- including drunk driving and dealing -- as part of poking fun at cultural stereotypes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sketch comedy series uses humor to poke fun at social prejudices and stereotyping. While some of the skits effectively accomplish that goal, others just seem to be going for cheap laughs, and some viewers may find the rampant cultural generalizations offensive. There's some salty language (the strongest curse words are bleeped/blurred but are sometimes still understandable) and some mild sexual innuendo (including references to porn and people's rear ends). There are also lots of references to racially motivated police violence and other aggressive behavior.

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Kids say

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What's the story?

THE TONY ROCK PROJECT is a sketch comedy show that uses humor to highlight social prejudices based on race, class, gender, and more. Tony Rock (younger brother of actor/comedian Chris Rock) stars along with Whitney Cummings; the show combines Rock's stand-up comedy routines with amusing spoofs, street interviews, and other segments. The goal? To poke fun at long-standing stereotypes and other biases.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The younger Rock proves that he's a funny entertainer when he's spoofing celebrities like
Prince and interacting with regular people on the street. Thanks to his talent, a few of the skits actually do a good job of highlighting people's preconceptions and prejudices, especially when it comes to race and ethnicity. But despite these funny -- and sometimes insightful -- moments, the series' overall weak writing makes the rest of the show seem silly and overworked. The interactions between the co-hosts seem forced, especially when Cummings tries to keep up with Rock's quick wit. Meanwhile, some hidden-camera segments are silly and a little mean-spirited, serving no purpose other than to get a cheap laugh.

While the show doesn't cross too many lines (perhaps because it's on network television instead of cable), some of the generalizations about different cultures could offend some viewers. The language and drug/alcohol references are also a bit strong. Bottom line? It's not an ideal choice for tweens, and some young teens may not be able to handle it either. But mature viewers may appreciate Rock's humor, as well as the unique brand of social commentary he's offering here.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media explores social prejudices. Do TV shows like this one dispel or reinforce existing stereotypes? Is humor an appropriate way to discuss serious and often controversial issues like discrimination? Why or why not? Families can also discuss whether it's ever appropriate to use stereotypes, even when they're intended to critically highlight a specific problem or issue. Can you think of ways that the media could address stereotypes without actually using them as a form of entertainment?

TV details

Cast:Tony Rock, Whitney Cummings
Network:MyNetworkTV
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14

This review of The Tony Rock Project was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byCountmonay March 11, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Hot Garbage

"The Tony Rock Project" should be call "The Homie the Clown Project". Too focused on Black and white jokes that aren't funny. Tony...go get some talent before you get put on TV you bum. I turned the channel after the 8th time you said, "Do you think Black...". Tony You're Garbage brother!!!!!! Take that shit you're selling and bury it ten feet deep so we don't have to smell it. This is Countmonay...a black man that funnier than Tony Rock signing off.

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