It’s hard to imagine our favorite shows in any way other than what we know them to be. When you consider classics like Friends or Seinfeld that center around a close-knit group of unique individuals that each give the show merit with their individual personalities, it’s even harder to picture them without one of the characters/actors that we know and love. If things hadn’t gone exactly how they went to get those characters in place, though, we would have ended up with completely different shows. Apparently the two aforementioned sitcoms could have gone in a completely different direction, as comedian Chris Rock was in talks for a lead role in the respective shows.
Chris Rock recently gave credit to the rumors that have spread around that he was considered for major roles in a pair of fan-favorite NBC series, though he was a little hazy about it all. Seeing as the two comedies in question are around 30 years old, it makes sense that Chris Rock would have a cloudy memory, but he does remember the rumors having some truth to them. Here’s what he has to say during his recent Late Show interview when host Stephen Colbert brought up that Rock was originally tapped to take on the George role.
There was a lot of NBC talk. There was talk about Seinfeld. There was talk about me being one of the Friends at a point. I would have been the black Friend. That’s basically who I am to America anyway, at this point.
While Chris Rock has definitely proven to be much more than just “the black Friend,” with his noteworthy comedy career veering into a number of more serious roles lately, he definitely would have made things much different if he were cast for either of the 90’s roles on Seinfeld or Friends. He’s doing just fine even without those roles, of course, and is now doing projects he’s quite excited about.
At the time these shows were airing, Chris Rock was just beginning his time on SNL, and he doesn’t seem heartbroken over missing out on two iconic NBC shows to star in another one. As far as Rock reportedly being eyed for the George Costanza role in Seinfeld, the comedian gave credit where credit was due in saying Jason Alexander, who did end up playing the part of George Costanza, was the optimal choice in hindsight.
Let’s just say the good people at Seinfeld made the right choice. He’s good. He’s amazing.
I guess what we can take from this is that things happen for a reason, and sometimes, no one is worse off for it. Chris Rock has enjoyed had a fantastic career that is still going in a good direction, while other actors got those amazing parts in iconic shows. And we can play Friends on repeat in the background of our everyday lives whenever we want.
You can catch Chris Rock in the fourth season of Fargo and in the upcoming Saw reboot Spiral, which is set to release later this year. In the meantime, check out the projects Chris Rock was working on instead of starring in Friends and Seinfeld, and head to our Winter and Spring TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon.