Miami Vice was a launching pad for dozens of major Hollywood figures. Loads of actors who would become big names have turned up on the iconic show. One name may come as a surprise, as his start is chronicled in other places. Gossip Cop has the story.
‘New Jack City’ Days
The story of Chris Rock usually starts in one of two places: New Jack City or Saturday Night Live. The iconic comedian used these platforms as launching pads into his illustrious stand-up career. By the mid-nineties, Rock was already one of the biggest stand-up comedians in the world, and his sitcom Everybody Hates Chris would only cement his legacy further.
Rock’s career actually began a few years before his SNL career. He earned roles in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and was scouted by Eddie Murphy for a role in Beverly Hills Cop II in 1987. That same year, Rock made his silver screen debut as well, appearing as records clerk Carson in Miami Vice‘s fourth season.
Eagled-eyed folks on Twitter have noticed numerous other A-listers during the heyday of Miami Vice. John Wick star Ian McShane was there in season three.
Even musicians you’d never guess popped up on the show, including Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, and James Brown. Brown, as it turns out, appeared in “Missing Hours,” the seventh episode of season four, alongside the very young Rock in his first-ever television role. The comedian helps Don Johnson and the crew find aliens. Yup, there were also aliens on Miami Vice.
Gossip Cop had no idea Rock and Brown could be connected through this show, but that might not even be the strangest combination. A season three episode featured Steve Buscemi getting beaten up by, of all people, Willie Nelson.
Gotta Start Somewhere
Executive Producer Michael Mann and showrunner Dick Wolf clearly had some great people in the casting department. It’s baffling how this show could spot so much young talent. Every actor needs to start somewhere. Whether it’s Miami Vice or Deal or No Deal, if you keep an eye out, you may just see the next big thing.
Chris Rock would spread his wings far further than his role of Carson. He just turned in a season on Fargo and is set to work with David O. Russell. You can even see him hunt down Saw killer Jigsaw in Spiral as Detective Zeke Banks, which is a solid promotion for mere records clerk down in Miami.