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Chris Rock's fame has made him slack off

To prepare for his new HBO comedy special, Rock says he had to force himself to hit the clubs

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Chris Rock
Norman Ng for Edie Baskin/Outline

With Saturday night’s ”Bigger and Blacker” (11:15 p.m.), HBO finally airs Chris Rock’s follow-up to his 1996 Emmy-winning ”Bring the Pain.” But some fans might be wondering if Rock will have lost his edge: After all, it must be tough to vent about life’s injustices after three years of fielding million-dollar movie offers.

Not to panic. Rock is still scathing, with rants about Columbine and racism, along with more of his profanity-soaked sexual diatribes. But he recently confessed that it wasn’t as easy to hone his new bits as it was when he was just A hot comic, as opposed to THE hot comic. ”Now I have to makemyself go to the comedy club (to practice),” he says. ”I was on stage last night at 2:30 in the morning at (New York’s) Comedy Cellar, and I had to makemyself do it. I used to fiend for it, and I don’t fiend for it like I used to. I fiend to be good, but I have to make myself work. I’m less hungry.”

But Rock still has an appetite for laughs that will keep him from getting stale. ”The fear of being bad motivates me,” he says. ”I’ve never done anything really good in my whole life. I suck at everything. I got on a comedy stage, like, 13 years ago, at Catch a Rising Star, and it was more than just, ‘Wow, I like doing comedy.’ It was, ‘Wow, I’m good at something!’ And I don’t ever want to lose the one thing I’m good at.”

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