"Everybody Hates Chris" questions & thread

I never watched Everybody Hates Chris in first-run but on Nick and other channels where it’s in syndication I was really impressed. It’s funny, intelligent, has great characters, gave work to a lot of '70s & 80s stars (Ernest Thomas, Todd Bridges, Antonio Fargas, etc.), and makes great use of 80s nostalgia in some episodes. Julius (Terry Crews*) and Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) should go down as two of the best parents in sitcom history- they’re very admirable, hard working, and likable but at the same time they’re far from perfect and they’re both believable.

Some questions about the apartment building though: The living room and kitchen and, I think, the parents bedroom, is on one floor. When the kids go out to the hall and then upstairs. Is this common in NYC- bedrooms on an upper floor accessible by the main hallway from the rest of the apartment? Are their bedrooms in a small separate apartment the family rents?

Does Chris’s family own the building or is the father just the supe among his other jobs? His family is far from rich and even in Bed-Stuy in the 1980s a building that size would have to be expensive.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the first episode and it might be explained there.

And if you don’t know but just want to talk about the sitcom, help yourself.
*I was really surprised to learn he was a football player and had only limited acting experience before the show; he’s a natural.

I don’t know if they own the whole building, but they collect rent from the guy who lives upstairs (don’t know his name - the funeral director)

Mr. Omar (“Tragic, tragic!”) played by Ernest Thomas (best known for playing Raj from What’s Happening? and being the biological father of Barack Obama).

Trivia: He was cast (the young) Kunta Kinte in ROOTS but was contractually obligated to another project so the role went to Levar Burton. He appeared in a much smaller supporting role in the African scenes.

Ah, that was a great show from the mid 2000’s. I love how episodes were posted to usenet as Everybody.Hates.Christ.SXXEXX.avi

Their brownstone was 3 floors. These buildings were originally built as 3 story, single (but very large!) family homes. They often get converted into 3 separate apartments (the building I live in is like that), and on that show, it looks like the family kept the first and second story, and rented out the third story.

You’ve got to see the first episode. Very funny.

I thought it was a good show, there were some moral lessons in there but they didn’t push it too much.

Rochelle: “You *know *I need my turtles!”

I always love the asides:

“I’ll slap you into another family!” (next scene: Chris in the middle of an Asian family)


“My mother was obsessed over none of us selling drugs.” {next scene:
Cop: Ma’am, we’re sorry to tell you this, but your son was run over by an 18 wheeler on the New Jersey Turnpike…
Rochelle: Was he selling drugs?
Cop: No.
Rochelle: Oh thank God…

I love Julius and the name Corleone Junior High always cracks me up.

As far as their brownstone, during that time and in that neighborhood, it would have been affordable. The real Rosalie and Julius got their Decatur Street brownstone in 1972 (not clear if it as bought or inherited), and they only carried a $60,000 mortgage in the mid 1980’s.

His parents own the building. Such a building would have been almost incalculably cheap in Bed-Stuy in 1975. My parents bought a 4-story brownstone set up with a duplex and 2 1-floor rentals-- paid $50,000 in 1981 in the heart of Park Slope. And Park Slope was the good, desirable neighborhood, with gentrification and “the” public elementary school to have your kids at – not synonymous with rampant crime and crackheads like Bed-Stuy was.

Chris’s parents might have got the building for $10 or $20k in 1975, or even inherited it from family. (side note: I hope they hung on to it – it’s worth at least a million now.) (ETA: 60k mortgage! Yeesh! How?)

They rent the 4th floor upper story to the Reverend (the one who’s smooth with the ladies), and that brings in some income to help with the mortgage.

The arrangement of the kitchen and living room on the “entrance floor” with bedrooms upstairs or downstairs is fairly common. In those brownstones, the main stoop entrance opens into the “nicest” floor laid out for entertaining, and is known as the Parlor Floor.

The wierd thing is, they always enter by the stoop- the 2nd floor . The bedrooms are upstairs. They seem to live in the 2nd & 3rd stories. They should have TWO rental apartments, the ground floor you enter under the stoop, and the top floor. The ground floor would have the backyard access (ALL those 4-story rowhouses have a small backyard) I don’t remember them having a downstairs renter, though. Did I just forget?

What if George Washington Carver quit the peanut? What if Diana Ross quit the Supremes?
-Dad, Diana Ross DID quit the Supremes

I cannot stand Chris Rock’s voice. It irritates me beyond belief. I simply can’t watch anything he is in with that voice.

I don’t like it in his stand-up, specifically his repeating the punchline five times drives me nuts, but in the sitcom it’s small doses.

Every time I catch this I think what a good, funny show it is, and am surprised that it never caught on bigger.

Nothing to add but that - and the hope that Netflix adds it to its streaming service!

For some strange reason they have seasons 1, 2, and 4 (on disc), but not season 3.

Terrific show, but the kids were getting a little too old in the last season. Shoulda made 'em smoke, and stunted their growth! :smiley: