WASHINGTON - Comedian Chris Rock gives great quotes even when he is not talking about films.
In recent days, the actor, while promoting his new film Top Five, gave New York Magazine, The New Yorker and the New York Times interviews that people are lapping up for his wide-ranging comments on contemporary America, Hollywood and comedy.
"There's a new soundbite king in town: Chris Rock," says the Washington Post in an article about the interviews. "Chris Rock gives better interviews than anyone."
We pick some gems from the interviews:
On race relations
"When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before. So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be President. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years...
"My kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let's hope America keeps producing nicer white people."
On what he feels about the performance of the first black president
"Everybody wanted Michael Jordan, right? We got Shaq. That's not a disappointment. It's still a Hall of Fame career. People thinking you're dumb is an advantage. Obama started as a genius. It's like, What? I've got to keep doing that? That's hard to do! So it's not that Obama's disappointing. It's just his best album might have been his first album."
On former US president George W. Bush
"And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionised the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean? He's the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don't like about Obama is that he's a network guy. He's kind of Les Moonves. He's trying to get everybody."
On Bill Cosby, who is facing sexual assault allegations
"I don't know what to say. What do you say? I hope it's not true. That's all you can say. I really do. I grew up on Cosby. I love Cosby, and I just hope it's not true. It's a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin (Williams), we lost Joan (Rivers), and we kind of lost Cosby."
On the many hip-hop references in his new movie, in which he plays a comedian who is determined to reinvent himself as a "serious" actor
"Hey, guess what? Most Woody Allen movies have about three lines I don't know what they're talking about, and it's fine."
Defending Joe Jackson, who is said to have been an abusive dad to Michael Jackson
"If I can defend Joe Jackson for one second: When you grow up in extreme poverty like that, sometimes you have to hit your kids. The consequences of them not listening to you are so much greater than the consequences to kids in a middle-class background. So something as little as: 'Hey, don't go to the corner. I don't want you hanging out on the corner' - well if you're in Alpine, New Jersy, and you end up hanging on the corner, it doesn't mean anything. But if you're a black boy on the wrong corner of Gary, Indiana, or Chicago or Bed-Stuy, you can get shot. I've been thrown into police lineups just being on the corner."