Fresh off a much-discussed Saturday Night Live appearance and with his new movie Top Five due out in theaters on December 12, Chris Rock sat down with New York Magazine’s Frank Rich ostensibly to discuss the movie. However, the pair discussed a huge array of topics, and as he so often does Rock had some thought-provoking opinions on topics ranging from President Obama to standup comedy to Woody Allen.

While the whole lengthy interview is certainly worth a read, here’s a collection of Rock’s funniest and most interesting quotes:

On his SNL monologue:

“Honestly, it’s not that people were offended by what I said. They get offended by how much fun I appear to be having while saying it.” (He also said that he performed the monologue the entire week leading up to the show at the Comedy Cellar in New York).

On the myth of 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.”

On the myth of "progress":

“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. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, 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 Bill Cosby:

“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 Robin Williams:

“Comedians kill themselves. Talk to 100 comedians this week, everybody knows somebody who killed themselves. I mean, we always say ignorance is bliss. Well, if so, what’s the opposite? Some form of misery. Being a comedian, 80 percent of the job is just you notice shit, which is a trait of schizophrenics too. You notice things people don’t notice.”

On President Obama:

“It’s not that Obama’s disappointing. It’s just his best album might have been his first album.”

On the progress of gay rights in the U.S.:

“I always call Ellen DeGeneres the gay Rosa Parks. If Rosa Parks had one of the most popular daytime TV shows, I’m sure the civil-rights movement would’ve moved a little bit faster too.”

On standup comedy:

“It’s the only thing that smacks Hollywood out of its inherent racism, sexism, anti-­Semitism. It makes people hire people that they would never hire otherwise. Do they really want to do a show with Roseanne Barr? No, they want a thin blonde girl. [Roseanne] is just funnier than everybody. I’m not even sure they wanted to do a [Jerry] Seinfeld show, but he’s just funnier than everybody.”

On workshopping new comedy bits:

“Before everyone had a recording device and was wired like fucking Sammy the Bull, you’d say something that went too far, and you’d go, ‘Oh, I went too far,’ and you would just brush it off. But if you think you don’t have room to make mistakes, it’s going to lead to safer, gooier stand-up. You can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched.”

On why he uses social media:

“You have to understand it, because if you don’t, then you’re going to sound like an old guy. You got to have the ability to use it as a reference. A lot of the time, the difference between hip and unhip is just reference.”

On Chris Christie and the bridge fiasco:

“You just want to choke somebody. If you live near the bridge, you know you’re going to have like seven bad days a year. But you hate to think one of them is on purpose.”

On having longevity as a comedian:

“Comedians are like preachers, and they have congregations. As long as you’re good to your congregation, you’ll be fine.”

On whether he can stay edgy at age 50:

“I probably can’t, but it’s okay. I didn’t recall a lack of edge in George Carlin. Joan didn’t seem to have calmed down at all. I don’t think they were thinking about edge. I think they were just thinking about, How am I going to be funny? It’s funny first.”

[via NY Mag]