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Everybody Hates Chris – Everybody Hates Food Stamps

“Everybody Hates Chris” was a sitcom created by comedian Chris Rock that aired on the UPN and CW networks from 2005-2009. Set in the mid-1980s, this clip features several scenes from the episode “Everybody Hates Food Stamps.” It starts with Chris’s dad, Julius (played by Terry Crews), presenting $200 in found food stamps to his wife, Rochelle (played by Tichina Arnold). Rochelle, however, is embarrassed to use food stamps – and is described by the narrator (Chris Rock) as a “ghetto snob” for her attitude. Rochelle ultimately uses family savings instead of the food stamps at the grocery store, which leads to trouble at home when Julius makes plans to spend the money he thinks they saved.

discussion

What is the source of Rochelle’s embarrassment about using food stamps (which are now called SNAP benefits) at the grocery store?

How often do families that struggle to pay their bills appear on major television shows and in movies? How are the lives of these families usually depicted?

What do you think of Chris Rock’s use of the term “ghetto snob”? Is this an insensitive remark, or does it use comedy successfully in order to discuss an important issue?