On this day in comedy on September 20, 2005 Everybody Hates Chris premiered on UPN and later moved to the CW.
The critically acclaimed sitcom was based on the teen-age years of executive producer, comedian Chris Rock (who also served as narrator). With original music by Marcus Miller and produced by Paramount, it starred Tyler James Williams (as the young Rock); Tachina Arnold as his antsy mother, Rochelle; Terry Crews as his overworked daddy, Julius; Teqwuan Richmond as Drew, the brother everybody wishes Chris was more like and his scheming sister, Tonya, played by Imani Hakim. Everybody may not hate Chris, but they sure do get the best of him.
It’s the 1980s in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Bed-Stuy and Chris has the dilemma of being a black kid in a white school; a school of more than several bigots. Of course he has a white buddy, Greg, played by Vincent Martella, who lends moral support to Chris as much as possible, but life is still a hassle. Chris is obviously hassled at school. He brings home bad grades so he’s hassled there and not just by his family, but the lowlifes that inhabit his surroundings as well. He’s not a stud black kid so it’s a hassle he’s not getting the girls. He’s also not a money maker and that’s always a hassle. Rock used a childhood friend, Kenny Montero as inspiration for many of his episodic antics.
Everybody Hates Chris reaped much praise over its 4 season run. It has several Emmy nominations for cinematography and costumes under its belt as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series. The sitcom has numerous Television Critic Association, Teen Choice, Environmental Media, Satellite, People’s Choice and Motion Picture Sound Editors Award nominations. The American Film Institute selected it as one of the 10 best sitcoms of 2007. That same year it won the NAACP Image Award for writing (Ali LeRoi) and Tyler James Williams won for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2006 the show won the Young Artist Award for Best Family Television Series. Tachina Arnold won for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2006 and the show won for Best Comedy Series.
Everybody Hates Chris aired its last episode on May 8, 2009.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton