For ten minutes, Chris Rock let his jokes fly.
About a year has passed since Chris Rock was struck by Will Smith on the 2022 Academy Awards stage. The renowned comedian spoke about the notorious incident during a landmark Netflix live show.
The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore hosted Rock’s 68-minute stand-up comedy show, Selective Outrage, on Saturday night (March 4). It was the first comedy event ever to be live-streamed on Netflix.
Rock vacillated on the subject until the very end of the show, spending ten of those minutes discussing the infamous smack.
“I’m going to try to do a show tonight without offending nobody,” the comedian said in the opening. “I’m going to try my best because you never know who might get triggered. People always say words hurt…anybody who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
Rock made fun of Snoop Dogg’s numerous appearances in commercials and said, “I can’t go dissing Snoop. The last thing I need is another mad rapper.”
After making a joke about another rapper, he eventually addressed the subject straight.
“People are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts! I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears!” he stated. “But I’m not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah, Gayle, crying.”
He declared to the crowd that he has always cherished Smith.
“I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life … now I watch ‘Emancipation’ just to see him get whupped.”
Rock discussed the disparity in height between the two, using the contrast between their roles in the movies as proof.
“Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. He does movies with his shirt off!” the entertainer said. “You’ve never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. If I’m in a movie getting open heart surgery, I got on a sweater. Will Smith played Muhammed Ali in a movie! You think I auditioned for that part? I played Pookie in New Jack City…even in animation, he’s bigger: I’m a zebra, he’s a shark.”
He also addressed Smith’s wrath over the joke he told about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars, stating, “Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” Smith stormed the stage to smack Rock after the joke. Jada has been candid about her battles with alopecia, which may have contributed to her close-cropped hair.
Rock explained why he chose not to strike Smith back to close the show: “A lot of people go, ‘Chris, how come you didn’t do nothing back?’ Because I’ve got parents! That’s why. Because I was raised. You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people!”