BOSTON — Comic Chris Rock, returning to the stage Wednesday for the primary time since being slapped by Will Smith on the Oscars, obtained a number of standing ovations at a soldout present in Boston earlier than he even instructed one joke.
However Rock solely briefly addressed the slap, saying he was “nonetheless form of processing what occurred” Sunday. He by no means talked about Smith nor his spouse by title.
“Apart from the bizarre factor, life is fairly good,” Rock mentioned at one level halfway by his first of two units. The nighttime performances in Boston got here simply three days after Smith struck the comic for making a joke about his spouse, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rock wore all white for his efficiency and gave the impression to be virtually embarrassed by the a number of standing ovations he obtained. Because the applause carried on for minutes — with followers yelling “I like you, Chris!” — the comic seemed to be getting emotional, a visitor seated close to the stage instructed The Related Press.
“How was your weekend?” Rock joked earlier than entering into his set.
Ticket costs skyrocketed after the Oscar confrontation, however the comic made clear he wasn’t going to speak at size about it Wednesday.
“Should you got here to listen to that, I’m not … I had like an entire present I wrote earlier than this weekend,” Rock mentioned.
Although he by no means touched on the Smith confrontation on the Academy Awards, he spent a lot of the night time skewering celebrities and politicians. Amongst them had been the Duchess of Sussex, the Kardashians, in addition to President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and former President Donald Trump.
Members of the viewers shouted their help for the comic. Not less than one individual yelled that Rock ought to sue Smith. Exterior the venue, a fan confirmed off a T-shirt that includes the “G.I. Jane” brand and Pinkett Smith’s face. One other had a shirt he made that confirmed Smith’s face and displayed a crude joke in regards to the couple’s relationship.
At Sunday’s Oscars, Rock had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzzed haircut. Pinkett Smith has spoken publicly about her prognosis of alopecia, which might trigger baldness.
“Jada, I like you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock mentioned whereas presenting an award, evaluating Pinkett Smith to Demi Moore’s “G.I. Jane” character, who had a buzz lower within the 1997 movie.
Smith promptly stood up from his seat on the entrance of the venue and took to the stage, slapping Rock throughout the face earlier than sitting again down and yelling at Rock to maintain his spouse’s title out of his mouth.
Inside an hour, Smith gained greatest actor, receiving a standing ovation. Throughout his five-minute acceptance speech, Smith talked about defending his household and apologized to the academy. A day later, Smith issued an apology to the comic, to the academy and to viewers at residence, saying he was “out of line” and that his actions are “not indicative of the person I need to be.”
George Guay, a 24-year-old fan from Boston who grew up on “All people Hates Chris,” mentioned he purchased a ticket after the Academy Awards.
“He’s the most well-liked superstar so I need to be right here,” Guay mentioned earlier than the present, including that he hoped Rock would open with a response to the scenario. “I simply desire a good present.”
After the present, some followers had been slightly upset he didn’t deal with the controversy extra instantly. However additionally they mentioned they may see from his physique language that he wasn’t certain methods to do it.
“As quickly as I noticed him, his temper was slightly bit shocked,” mentioned Dave Henriquez, a 48-year-old musician from Newton, Massachusetts. “I acquired that it was weighing on him.”
Erin Ryan, a 33-year-old instructor additionally from Newton who was with Henriquez, mentioned she felt Rock needed to carry out his act, “not make the standup in regards to the one incident.”
Kathryn West-Hines, a 50-year-old Pilates teacher from Malden, Massachusetts, mentioned she got here away with much more respect for Rock. “I assumed it was wonderful, elegant,” she mentioned, including that he wasn’t going to let “what occurred Sunday” take away his shine.
The Academy of Movement Photos Arts and Sciences condemned Smith putting Rock. Its board of governors met Wednesday to provoke disciplinary proceedings in opposition to Smith for violations of the group’s requirements of conduct. The academy mentioned it had requested Smith to depart Sunday’s Oscar ceremony after hitting Rock, however he refused to take action.
The Los Angeles Police Division mentioned Sunday it was conscious of what occurred however was not pursuing an investigation as a result of the individual concerned declined to file a police report.
Pinkett Smith responded Tuesday with a graphic on Instagram that learn: “This can be a season of therapeutic and I’m right here for it.” She provided no additional remark.
This was not the primary time that Rock had made a joke at Pinkett Smith’s expense. When he hosted the 2016 Oscars, some folks boycotted the ceremony over the #OscarsSoWhite group of nominees, together with the Smiths. Mentioned Rock then: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”
Wanda Sykes, who co-hosted the Oscars with Amy Schumer and Regina Corridor, mentioned she felt bodily unwell after Smith slapped Rock. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres scheduled to air April 7, Sykes additionally mentioned letting Smith keep and settle for his award mustn’t have occurred.
A number of stars rushed to counsel and calm Smith after he returned to his seat, together with Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry.
The drama overshadowed some historic wins at an Oscars. The deaf household drama “CODA” turned the primary movie with a largely deaf forged to win greatest image. For the primary time, a streaming service, Apple TV+, took Hollywood’s prime honor, signaling a profound shift in Hollywood and in moviegoing. Wins for Ariana DeBose of “West Aspect Story,” Troy Kotsur of “CODA” and Jane Campion, director of “The Energy of the Canine,” all had made historical past.