Ali LeRoi

Writer, 'Everybody Hates Chris,' UPN

Chris Rock’s adolescence is fertile ground for this comedy set in ’80s Brooklyn — at least one UPN show guaranteed a spot on the schedule after the launch of the CW in the fall. Writer LeRoi starts with what he calls “tiny bits of a story” or experiences related by Rock or pulled from a decade of standup material where he talks about his family.

“The Chris Rock he becomes doesn’t take form until his late teens, so up until then its really kind of regular growing-up stuff,” LeRoi says. Then those anecdotes become departure points: that his father used to play dice or that Rock hated getting up early on Saturdays to do laundry.

“Your world is really small when you’re 13 or 14,” LeRoi says. “You haven’t been a lot of places, and you just want to fit in. We try to find little things that Chris wants to achieve, and build stories around that.”

The show is a reflection of Rock’s voice, but if Rock is the voice of his own teenage self, LeRoi hears his own family in the other characters. “I do know what it’s like to have that kind of mother, so a lot of the quirks come from my mother,” he says.

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