In Alec Baldwin’s new interview podcast Here’s the Thing, comedian Chris Rock says the one thing that worries him the most about being an African American father to his two young daughters is that they won’t know how to handle their money.
In an hysterical interview that Baldwin conducted backstage at the Broadway play, The Mother F**cker With the Hat, which marks Rock’s debut, the comedian waxed poetic about stand-up comedy, his appeal among white audiences and the state of black film. But it was his insight about fathering 8-year-old Lola Simone and 6-year-old Zahra Savannah with wife Malaak Compton-Rock that piqued my attention and had me nodding in agreement. Check out the excerpt:
I care that they’re good with money. I don’t even care if they’re assholes [BLEEP]. When I say good with money, I just mean you got two dollars and you spend one, and you put a dollar in the bank. I don’t mean that they run Microsoft or they flip money and buy houses. It comes from my childhood. I just mean, can they handle their own money. That’s it, ’cause it’s a tough hole to get out of. And it’s a weird hole for a pretty woman to get out of. And they end up in relationships with guys they wouldn’t have a relationship with.
Here’s the thing: You can only help. Like, I got some family right now, a guy, whatever losin’ his house, whatever. I’m gonna help him move in to wherever he’s gonna move into. I’m not buying his house, ’cause he’s never gonna be able to afford the house. So yeah, I’m a river, but it’s a little river. ‘Cause when you turn down somebody, and they know you have the money! It’s one thing to go, these kids are kickin’ my ass or whatever and you don’t have the money. They know you have the money!. [But] you’re not gonna be the reason I’m doing some bad Kung Fu movie, okay?
Pure hilarity, but steeped in truth. I know I don’t want to be writing bad fiction books and writing sponsored posts for intimate toys to make sure my grown daughters’ bills are paid. That means that I’m going to have to work overtime to teach my babies not how to get rich, but how to be wealthy—something that my family couldn’t reasonably do for me. Cheers to Chris Rock for making each of us think about it, and cheers to those of us who actually work hard to figure it out.