The Humor Mill

On This Day In Comedy… In 1991 ‘Roc’ Premiered On FOX!

Posted Sep 28, 2016


On this day in comedy on August 25, 1991 Roc premiered on Fox!

The sitcom about a garbage man starred Charles S. Dutton as the title character and Ella Joyce as his wife Eleanor.   A confirmed cheap skate, Roc people on his garbage route to adorn his surroundings.  His retired father Andrew, (Carl Gordon) stays with them and so does his musician brother, Joey (Rocky Carroll), who owes Roc money.  

Roc was innovative.  After its first season it broadcast all the second season shows live.  They would deal with current events including the 1992 Presidential election and came just short of announcing the election results. No show had been broadcast live since the 1950s.  This was mainly possible because all the principals were trained stage actors who’d worked together many times before in August Wilson productions.

A sitcom, Roc mixed comedy with heavy, dramatic social commentary.  Gang influence, drug use and vigilantism were recurring topics.  Another thing recurring on Roc were a slew of top notch talent.  Over its three seasons appearances were made by Jamie Foxx, Heavy D, Tone Loc,  

Not surprisingly, Roc was a hit in Black households, but ranked low in the Nielsen ratings.   Its top ranking was #71 in season 2 and dipped as low as # 102 with a 5.10 rating in Season 3.  However, it was critically acclaimed and received an Emmy nomination and an NAACP image Award win for Charles S. Dutton for Outstanding Actor.   

Roc was cancelled May 10, 1994.

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton

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