Chris Rock Was Nearly Cast In An Iconic Seinfeld Role

Chris Rock has been making headlines a lot lately, largely due to the Oscars altercation with Will Smith. Even so, Rock has been a staple in American media for what seems like forever. His star beyond standup comedy started to rise in the late 1990s after he got onto "Saturday Night Live" with "The Chris Rock Show" followed by "The Hughleys" and then "Everybody Hates Chris," which ended in 2009. But to Rock, even his early roles a decade ago or more don't hold a candle to the work he can achieve now.

"That was a part I probably — not only was I not a good enough actor maybe ten, 15 years ago, I didn't have the gravitas," Rock told CBS of his role as Loy Cannon on "Fargo." "I haven't lived the life, you know what I mean? But now, you know, I've lived a life. And I can use those things in, you know, in my acting. I can use actual pain, I can use actual loss."

Like his pal David Spade told The Hollywood Reporter on the topic of show business, any success might just buy you a few more months in the business. (Spade told THR that's an inside joke between them.) If, in his own hindsight, Rock thinks himself a much stronger actor now than a handful of years ago, how different would some of our favorite 1990s sitcoms have been with him in them?

Chris Rock could've been paling around with Jerry Seinfeld

Back in the 1990s, Chris Rock hadn't quite broken into acting outside of his work as a comedian. Evidently, that might not have been the case had he taken roles in some of the biggest hit sitcoms of the time. Rock told "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in 2021 that he had heard the rumors about him being optioned for George Costanza on "Seinfeld" (via Entertainment Tonight).

"I just heard that one. I mean, it was a lot of NBC talk," Rock told Colbert, according to ET. "There was talk about 'Seinfeld.' There was talk about me being one of the 'Friends' at one point. Yes, I would have been the Black friend. That's basically who I am to America at this point." He then said he believes the folks on "Seinfeld" made the right call casting Jason Alexander as George instead. Rock also added that he was supposed to play Theo's best friend Cockroach on "The Cosby Show" and is now grateful that didn't happen, either.

Despite not getting to hang out with Jerry and his pals in "Seinfeld," Rock and Seinfeld are actually best friends in real life. So, perhaps Rock got his chance to live out some of those "Seinfeld" shenanigans after all.

Chris Rock finds career opportunities everywhere

Having been in show business for decades, Chris Rock knows all too well that sometimes things don't work out for a reason. All the same, he isn't afraid to take opportunities by the collar when he sees them. That's exactly how he wound up in the cast of "Spiral." Horror films aren't exactly Rock's niche, but he loves them. According to Yahoo!, Rock got cast was by approaching Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns at a wedding.

"I said, 'You ever think about a little comedy in "Saw"?' And you could see him perk up," Rock told the outlet of his conversation with Burns. "And next thing I know I'm in a meeting with the head of Lionsgate. Next thing I know I'm on a set shooting a movie." Yahoo! added that "Spiral" is a spinoff of the "Saw" franchise of which Rock is a huge fan. The film premiered in 2021 and co-starred Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols, and Max Minghella. It received very mixed reviews, but we hope that doesn't deter Rock from taking bold chances in his career, since "Fargo" is certainly proof that he has those edgier sides in him.