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Comedian Chris Rock has been around the television landscape for a little over 30 years, but, aside from his stints on Saturday Night Live and In Living Color, he's never had a prominent (or permanent) part on any of the scripted shows he's been seen on. Well, that's about to change, as Rock has signed on for his first starring role in a non-sketch comedy television show, and you will probably be surprised at his choice. It was announced today that Chris Rock will star in Season 4 of FX's Fargo, in a role that sounds like it will allow him to go far deeper than he typically gets to when he busts out his acting chops.
FX revealed today that Chris Rock will star in what appears to be a very different Season 4 when Fargo returns to screens next year. Rock will take on the role of the head of an African American crime syndicate in Kansas City, Missouri in 1950. His crime boss has formed an alliance with the head of an Italian American crime family in the city, and to cement the peace between the two families, they have traded their oldest sons; with Rock's character raising the mob boss's son and the mafioso raising the son of Rock's character.
The families are each products of two American periods of migration; that of immigrants from Southern Europe, and of African Americans from the south who were looking to escape Jim Crow laws. Each group frequently settled in the same cities and were looking for their own piece of the American dream. Chris Rock's character and his competitor have both taken to underworld antics in the form of bribery, corruption, the drug trade and exploitation in order to try and get their hands on that brass ring and secure the future of their families. Unfortunately, things will go south once the head of the mafia goes in for routine surgery and dies.
As I mentioned earlier, this will be the first time Chris Rock has starred on a TV show that doesn't involve sketch comedy, but he's made plenty of appearances on television since he got his start in the medium on a 1987 episode of Miami Vice. Along with co-starring and starring role in a long string of movies such as New Jack City, CB4, Pootie Tang, I Think I Love My Wife and Top Five, Rock has shown up on the small screen in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Bernie Mack Show, Everybody Hates Chris, Empire and Kevin Can Wait, among other shows.
Chris Rock is clearly interested in stretching his theatrical wings, and noted that he's been a fan of Fargo and is looking forward to working with creator Noah Hawley. Fargo, for its part, is really changing things up in Season 4 by setting the series further back in the past than ever before and moving away from the show's traditional locations in Minnesota. But, it sounds like the new season will definitely be another one to look out for with a lot of surprising twists.