Before telling one joke during his first comedy concert since Will Smith smacked him in the face onstage at the Oscars, Chris Rock earned numerous standing ovations.
Rock only spoke briefly about the slap in front of the Boston crowd, claiming he was “still kind of digesting what occurred.”
“Life is really wonderful, other from the odd stuff,” Rock stated midway through his first of two sets. The late-night performances occurred only three days after Smith slapped the comedian for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, while presenting an Oscar.
At his concert in Boston, Rock didn’t address Smith or Pinkett Smith by name. He was dressed entirely in white and was almost embarrassed by the standing ovations he got. A attendee sat near the stage told The Associated Press that the comic looked to be becoming emotional as the applause continued for minutes, with supporters chanting “I love you, Chris!”
“How was your weekend?” I inquire. Before starting his show, Rock cracked a joke.
Ticket prices soared when Smith came to the stage at the Grammys and slapped Rock on live television, but the comic made it plain that he wouldn’t go into detail about it on Wednesday.
“I’m not sure why you came to hear that… Before this weekend, I had written a full show,” Rock stated.
He spent the most of the night mocking politicians and celebrities. The Duchess of Sussex, the Kardashians, President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and former President Donald Trump were among those who attended.
A fan wore a T-shirt with the “G.I. Jane” insignia and Pinkett Smith’s visage outside the venue. Another wore a shirt he designed with Smith’s face and a harsh joke about the couple’s relationship on it.
During the concert, at least one fan screamed that Rock should sue Smith.
“Jada, I adore you,” Rock said at the Oscars about Jada Pinkett Smith’s cropped hairstyle. “I can’t wait to see ‘G.I. Jane 2,'” Rock remarked, comparing Pinkett Smith to Demi Moore’s character in the 1997 picture, who had a buzz cut.
Smith leapt from his front-row position and stormed the stage, hitting Rock across the face before sitting back down and screamed at Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his lips.
Pinkett Smith has spoken up about her alopecia diagnosis, which can result in baldness.
Smith won best actor in less an hour and received a standing ovation. Smith spoke about defending his family and apologizing to the academy during his five-minute acceptance speech. Smith apologized to the comedian, the Academy, and the public the next day, stating he was “out of line” and that his actions were “not emblematic of the guy I aspire to be.”
“This is a season of healing, and I’m here for it,” Pinkett Smith said in an Instagram post on Tuesday. She didn’t say anything else.
After Rock was smacked by Smith, George Guay, a 24-year-old Boston fan who grew up watching “Everybody Hates Chris,” claimed he bought a ticket.
“I want to be here because he’s the most popular celebrity,” Guay said before the concert, adding that he hoped Rock would start with a comment to the issue. “All I want is a nice concert.”
Some supporters were dissatisfied that he did not address the topic more immediately thereafter. They did say, though, that his body language indicated he didn’t know how to do it.
Dave Henriquez, a 48-year-old musician from Newton, Massachusetts, stated, “As soon as I saw him, his demeanor was a little bit stunned.” “I could see it was bothering him.”
Erin Ryan, a 33-year-old Newton teacher who was with Henriquez, said she thought Rock wanted to do his act, not do a stand-up routine about the one event.
Kathryn West-Hines, a 50-year-old Pilates instructor from Malden, Massachusetts, said she had even greater admiration for Rock as a result of the experience. “I thought it was fantastic, elegant,” she added, adding that he would not be deterred by “what occurred Sunday.”
Smith hitting Rock was denounced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Its board of governors convened on Wednesday to begin disciplinary procedures against Smith for violating the organization’s behavior guidelines. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony after assaulting Rock, according to the academy, but he refused.
This wasn’t the first time Rock had cracked a joke about Pinkett Smith. Some individuals boycotted the 2016 Oscars because of the #OscarsSoWhite set of nominees, which included the Smiths. “Jada’s boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s underwear,” Rock said at the time. “I didn’t get an invitation.”
After Smith hit Rock, Wanda Sykes, who co-hosted the Oscars with Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, claimed she felt physically nauseous. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres set to air on April 7, Sykes also suggested Smith should not have been allowed to stay and receive his prize.
The controversy obscured certain Oscar wins that were historically significant. “CODA,” a deaf family drama, became the first film to win best picture with an entirely deaf cast. For the first time, Apple TV+, a streaming service, won the Academy Award for Best Picture, indicating a significant shift in Hollywood and moviegoing. Ariana DeBose of “West Side Story,” Troy Kotsur of “CODA,” and Jane Campion, director of “The Power of the Dog,” had all created history with their victories.