Chris Rock's 2005 sitcom Everybody Hates Chris focussed on the legendary comedian's early years growing up in New York in the '80s. The show ended after four seasons but continues to enjoy a global audience on TV and online. In an interview, Tyler James Williams, who played the lead role of Chris on the show, revealed his take on what makes Everybody Hates Chris resonate with a modern worldwide audience.
"What's really interesting, and what [series co-creator] Ali LeRoi did a beautiful job at is, he took a family and wrote them into this lens of Chris Rock's kind of stand up. But what he did was he made a family that resonated with everybody across multiple racial backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities. Although it's specifically set in New York in the 80s, the way it resonates in Brazil, particularly, is interesting."
All of my social media numbers are just Brazilians. It's ravaged. They love, love that show. And it's so interesting to me because it's a very specific story, actually. It's about being a Black kid growing up in New York, in Brooklyn, in the '80s. But he was able to write something that was so universally understandable and acceptable, and that people from all walks of life can just relate to as an experience. And that's what I honestly really think the legacy is."
Tyler James Williams also revealed that Everybody Hates Chris was originally seen as a Black show for a Black audience on UPN, but once it hit syndication, it quickly became apparent that the series had a much wider appeal. The actor explained that even though the viewership numbers for season 2,3 and 4 were not as high as the first one after the show moved to CW, the studio heads made the decision to continue with the program because they had faith the series would resonate in syndication.
As the show continues to find new audiences worldwide, there have naturally been calls from fans for an Everybody Hates Chris reunion episode, or even a full new season. While Williams would like to see such a reunion happen, he believes the nature of how the original show ended, with Chris going off to Hollywood to try his luck as a comic, would make it difficult to continue the original show's narrative.
"And as far as a reunion goes, we've talked about it several times. Ali, Chris, and myself have kind of kicked around different ideas at different periods of time as to what could happen. I think in, I want to say 2019, we got close. We got close. And then it just kind of... People keep getting other jobs and it gets harder to get done. Maybe one day. You know what I mean? Maybe one day we will."
"We've talked about it. But hopefully one day we get a chance to do that and kind of expand on that story. But I think what gets difficult in that is we want to maintain the legacy of making this a completely relatable show. And as we get into talking [Chris Rock's] older years of life, the trajectory of the story gets a little less relatable of "Now it's specifically a comic in Hollywood," and that kind of thing. So I think that's the struggle that we all run up against."
This news arrives from Collider.