Since others are posting them, here’s one of my “brushes with Show-biz” stories. The short version of how I got to work for and with the brilliant comedian Chris Rock.
An animation director went to HBO and offered his services to do a short segment for Rock’s show in ”collage style.” One of the producers asked, “You mean like SOUTH PARK?” The animation director said “No, like Stephen Kroninger.” Fortunately for me, someone I’d worked with on several other projects was also one of the producers in that meeting. She said “Stephen’s a friend of mine, why don’t we get him?” The rest is television history. We had three weeks from start to finish to bang out the animation. It’s called Bad Phone Sex. The bit is about Chris trying to get his completely disinterested and uncooperative girlfriend (Judy Gold) to talk dirty to him over the phone. Chris Rock was incredibly patient and a dream to work with. He posed for all of the head-shots, looking at the storyboards and then imitating the expressions in the drawings. He couldn’t have been nicer. At one point in editing the audio we decided to take out a line with a very popular four-letter word in it. Not because of the word, it’s used liberally throughout the piece, but because it was felt that it impeded the flow of the animation. A producer intervened and said ”You can’t take that line out because Chris always gets a big laugh whenever he says (popular four letter word).” It stayed in and big laugh he got. Lots of big laughs in fact. The program was recorded in front of a studio audience and aired on what turned out to be the very last episode of “The Chris Rock Show.” He soon departed for Hollywood. The two minute animation is included as an extra on Rock’s DVD “Bring The Pain.” It was also selected for Spike and Mike’s Twisted Festival of Animation.