Chris Rock Pre-Oscar Netflix Show Was Shrewd Comic Timing

Chris Rock’s live Netflix performance over the weekend in which he hammered Will Smith was exquisitely timed to take advantage of Academy Awards season.

The performance shown live on Saturday was staged just eight days before the Oscars this coming Sunday on ABC.

A portion of the performance, titled “Selective Outrage,” was devoted to pillorying Smith, who shocked the world when he strode onto the stage at last year’s Oscars and smacked Rock across the face after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett.

Rock, who was the show’s host, has said little or nothing about the incident since it happened, but with the onset of this year’s Oscars, he let fly on Netflix.



“You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith,” he said. “Everybody knows! Everybody f------ knows! Yes, it happened. I got smacked. A year ago, I got slapped at the f------ Oscars by this motherf------ and people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts!

Rock went on to note that Smith is a good deal more physically fit than he. “Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. We are not the same size!” he said.

“This guy does his movies with his shirt off! 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.’ I played a piece of corn in ‘Pootie Tang’!”

Rock then got personal with Smith, his wife and the nature of their marriage. “And for people who don’t know what everybody knows, his wife was f------ her son’s friend!” he said.

This was a reference to a rumored affair that Pickett called an “entanglement” when she publicly admitted it on her podcast “Red Table Talk” in 2020.

In the wake of last year’s on-stage assault, Will Smith resigned as a member of the Academy. The Academy then banned him from the Oscars for 10 years, at which time he will be 64. Jimmy Kimmel was subsequently named host of this year’s Oscars. 

Last month, the Academy announced with all earnestness that it has formed a “crisis team” to deal with the possibility of a similar outburst at this year’s Oscars.

The nature of this “crisis team” and its purpose -- not to mention who would be on it -- is murky.

This team is either being created to physically prevent future attacks before the fists actually fly, or to simply be on hand to craft timely statements for the media afterward.

In any case, this is what we have come to. The Motion Picture Academy doesn’t know whether to hire bouncers or publicists. Maybe they should go with both.

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