TODAY   |  June 07, 2012

Chris Rock: ‘I wanted to be king of the jungle’

Funny man Chris Rock returns to the big screen as a wisecracking zebra in the upcoming “Madagascar 3” and tells TODAY’s Ann Curry that if he could choose to be any animal, his first choice would have been a little less striped.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 8:21 with comedian and actor chris rock . he's back as the voice of a free-spirited, wise-cracking zebra in the new movie

"madagascar 3: escape to europe."

>> you're going the wrong way, marty!

>> just call me martio andretti.

>> no, you're suckio andretti.

>> give me the wheel.

>> it's not a wheel. this is my baby.

>> your hoofs aren't meant to be on the wheel.

>> too late for you to drive.

>> don't look at me when we argue. look at the road.

>> hi, officer. is there a problem?

>> chris rock , good morning. that's so classically you, i think.

>> that is very classically me whenever i get pulled over by the cops. maybe this record will help me not get beat up. that's what i always do.

>> i understand that you -- is it true that you actually like making this movie, " madagascar 3," more than making the first two?

>> this one -- you know, like the first two -- like the first two, they're trying to figure out the character. no one knows what's going to work. and this one, everybody knows what the characters are. so you know, you kind of worked a little less.

>> oh. easier money.

>> it was easier money.

>> and on top of that, you actually wrote a song for this. we've been listening to it. we just heard al singing it.

>> the afro circus. al roker was singing it?

>> al was singing it.

>> wow! he can do that without the weight? he used to sing all the time.

>> without the weight. it actually has gotten 750,000 hits on youtube . do you have a reaction to that? da da da da da afro circus afro circus polka dot polka dot polka dot afro

>> really?

>> too bad -- wow!

>> we could do the entire interview this way.

>> wow!

>> that's gotten 750,000 hits on youtube .

>> isn't it a shame youtube pays nothing? not a dime, ann curry . nothing.

>> you should have gotten royalties for that. i think we should write something down, make a protest.

>> something. give a brother, you know, a computer or something.

>> so you can watch it again on youtube .

>> yeah. youtube pays you nothing. no royalties.

>> i know.

>> residuals.

>> but it's making people smile.

>> it pays you in smiles.

>> it pays you in smiles.

>> yeah, smiles. yeah, okay. you know that, right?

>> but you make people smile as playing a zebra. they offered you this role. you took this role.

>> i took this role, yes.

>> but if you could be any animal in the animal kingdom , chris, what would it be?

>> what would i be? i wanted to be the lion, you know, king of the jungle and all that, but you know, that didn't work out. snake is always good, you know. scare people. sss. but i'll take the zebra. you know. you know.

>> he's got game.

>> in honor of our debora preside in honor of our zebra president, black and white , kind of like george jefferson . i love our president, black and white . he appeals to all. and that's what i'm going for.

>> good. have you mentioned this to him, by the way? because i wonder how he would react to the analogy you're making.

>> you know. we ignore the president's whiteness, but it's there. it's there.

>> meantime, your kids are not going to ignore this movie. they're going to see it for the first time today. when your first " madagascar " came out, they were not even born, right? now they're 8 and 10?

>> yeah, they weren't even around.

>> so they're going to be critics.

>> they made me have kids. you know, i got this movie. maybe i should get my wife pregnant so we can have kids to take to see the movie. yeah, my kids are going to the premiere today. they're taking, like, 20 of their friends. they've got, like, a pink limo or something. i don't know.

>> big deal .

>> yeah, big deal . they're going to be with their friends and ignore dad through the whole movie.

>> meantime, you're also in this movie coming out "two days in new york," and also the movie -- what's it called -- "before sunset." this movie is in french.

>> most movies are in french and i'm the american. if anybody saw "two days in new york" with julie delpy , it's the sequel to that. i'm her new boyfriend. her family comes in from france. and we're expecting them to -- you know, ip expe'm expecting them to be french, but they're kind of like ghetto french and hilarity ensues. " madagascar 3" comes out friday.

>> that's what we're going to tell people.

>> it's going to be the biggest movie. it's an amazing movie. people hear the music. dance. you're going to sing.

>> that's right. thanks so much.