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Jerry Seinfeld Says Chris Rock Was Too ‘Shook’ to Spoof the Will Smith Oscars Slap in ‘Unfrosted’

Mike Pont

Chris Rock would rather not relive the infamous moment when Will Smith slapped him at the Oscars. 

When Jerry Seinfeld asked Rock, 59, to parody the incident in a scene for his new Netflix comedy, Unfrosted, the comedian turned him down, Seinfeld said on the May 8 episode of Dana Carvey and David Spade’s “Fly on the Wall” podcast. 

Seinfeld, 70, directed and stars in the fictional origin story about the invention of Pop-Tarts. He had envisioned his longtime friend Rock appearing as the emcee of the movie’s Bowl and Spoon Awards. Seinfeld “was gonna have somebody come up on the stage and have Chris punch them out.”

“Chris wasn’t … he wasn’t up to perform,” Seinfeld said. “He was still a little shook from the event.”

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Instead, Seinfeld cast Cedric the Entertainer in the emcee role. Cedric “saved the day,” he added. He then asked the podcast hosts whether the joke would have worked if Rock had agreed to film it. 

“Without the Will Smith thing, I think it’s funny,” Carvey said. “It’s just sort of, there’s still kind of a residual darkness around that moment.”

“Yeah, isn’t that what we’re attracted to more than anything? Residual darkness?” Seinfeld mused. “I don’t know if it would have worked.”

“If Chris is there and wants to do it, you get it,” Carvey said. “You can always trim it. Always get the shot.”

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Filming for Unfrosted took place in the middle of 2022. Earlier that year, Rock hosted the 94th annual Academy Awards and made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head when he suggested she should be cast in “G.I. Jane 2.” After Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, rolled her eyes at the comment, her husband approached the stage and slapped the Saturday Night Live veteran.

Smith returned to his seat and yelled at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”

Rock eventually addressed the drama in his March 2023 comedy special Selective Outrage, which aired live on Netflix.

“People asked me if it hurt,” Rock told the audience. “Yes, that s—t hurt! I got hit so hard, I heard ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears.”

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Afterward, Smith won the Best Actor prize for his role in King Richard and issued a mea culpa to Rock.

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” he wrote via Instagram at the time. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences amid the controversy, and following an investigation, the Academy banned him from all Oscars events for 10 years as punishment.

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