Chris Rock Sidesteps Oscar Controversy In First Standup Show Since Will Smith Slap

Chris Rock Sidesteps Oscar Controversy In First Standup Show Since Will Smith Slap

In the Oscar travesty last weekend, Chris Rock felt the sting of a slap on global TV, Will Smith watched his stellar reputation marred by a lack of self control, and the Academy Awards suffered the shame of doing nothing about it and now catching up with the threat of banishment. But tonight proved there was at least one winner: ticket scalpers, who landed upwards of $1000 for balcony seats. A lot of them seemed to be bought and paid for by journalistic outlets, and the joke was on many of us: security locked down our phones, and pulled us out for scribbling in notebooks or texting from an Apple watch. Where was this crew when Will Smith declined the Academy’s request he leave the premises after assaulting Rock minutes before being awarded the Best Actor Oscar?

Rock tonight gave his first standup comedy performance since the Oscars, and this time, he ducked. As in, he declined to use the embarrassing episode for comic fodder. Dressed all in white, Rock did make sure to bask in a very long standing ovation — around two and one-half minutes by my count, and longer than the one that Smith received when his name was called in the Best Actor category. After stopping the adulation by saying, “let me do a show,” Rock asked the crowd how was their weekend., He had little else to say about being on the business end of Smith’s open hand slap, telling the crowd he had actually written jokes for a comedy routine before that other stuff occurred. He offered that maybe over time he might address the controversy, but he seemed unsure of whether it would be better to just move on. Maybe he’ll feel different at the later show tonight, but I ran out of money getting into that first show. If he has a change of heart, so be it.

Comedians Rally Around Chris Rock After Will Smith Oscars Incident, Express Concern About Copycat Violence

Rock then stepped into a lively routine that ranged from nasty sexting from a woman named Candice, to being a divorced dad raising his daughters, to Covid and his plans to get a vasectomy after seeing a mid-70s Robert De Niro picking up his young daughter, to the sexual prowess of Elon Musk, and Meghan Markle. Wow, did he pull no punches on the latter. In fact, had Prince Harry been in the front row as Rock railed about his wife’s skin color…well, never mind. In feigning outrage that she charged the Royal Family with racism, Rock said, “what the fu*k did you expect? Didn’t they create colonialism?” Rock also railed against politically correct corporations that brag about caring about the environment, planting trees and other deeds. In talking about seeing a Subaru  car commercial that promised with each sale to donate $250 to the buyer’s favorite charity. Rock said he would prefer the company knock $250 off the price of the car. The show seemed brief (Rick Ingraham opened with a routine that involved him insulting the Bostonians in the front rows), but on a day when the Academy was deciding how hard to punish his combatant in that one-sided weekend battle, Rock can look forward to more crowds lining the pockets of the scalpers who must love how the Academy Awards has restored  his status as the hottest comic in the land.

Ron Howard Reacts To Will Smith, Chris Rock Oscars Snafu: “I Wouldn’t Have Expected This Kind Of Behavior”


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