“I’ve got a question — do you want to talk about it? Aren’t you sick of talking about it? Isn’t it kind of crazy? It feels like I’ve been talking about it for so long,” host Jerrod Carmichael addressed the situation without directly mentioning those involved during his Saturday, April 2, monologue on the long-running variety series. “Can you believe it happened six days [ago]? … Doesn’t it feel like it happened years ago? Like, doesn’t it feel like it happened when we were all in high school?”
He continued: “It feels like we’ve been living in the wake of it our entire lives. It happened on Sunday! On Sunday! It’s Saturday, bro. … If this were Monday, you wouldn’t be able to get me to shut up about it. I was talking about it all Monday. Tuesday, still talking about it — a little less exciting because it stopped being about it by Tuesday. It started being about a lot of proxy arguments [about] hair, Black men and white people on Twitter.”
The Rothanial comedian, 34, then proclaimed that he was done speaking about the incident by Thursday and Friday until the show suggested he work it into his Saturday set.
“Then, Lorne [Michaels] came into my dressing room. He was like, ‘I think you need to talk about it. The nation needs to heal,’” Carmichael, who came out as gay during his HBO special this month, quipped. “I said, ‘The nation needs to what? And you want me to do that? The nation don’t even know me. The nation has no clue who I am.’”
The Carmichael Show alum’s monologue was not the only time that SNL — which also featured a musical performance by Gunna — joked about the Oscars encounter. During a “Seat Fillers” sketch, the cast parodied the events with Will Smith (Chris Redd) speaking with a seat filler (Carmichael) during Rock’s speech. While Carmichael’s character had eagerly asked Redd’s Smith for a selfie, things took a turn post-slap.
“No, that’s OK, nah, I deleted my phone,” Carmichael added on Saturday.
“Intelligence officials are saying that Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing in Ukraine,” the Tom & Jerry actor, 39, said. “Which is kind of like Will Smith’s agent telling him, ‘You crushed it at the Oscars!’”
Jost added that, from his perspective, Smith’s actions were “disgraceful” and set “a terrible precedent for having to defend your wife at awards shows.”
At the March 27 award show, Rock, 57, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith — who has alopecia — starring in G.I. Jane 2, referring to her shaved head. In response, Smith, 53, stormed the stage and slapped the comedian in the face, before returning to his front row seat and shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth!”
While some viewers thought the moment might have been scripted, Rock appeared visibly shaken. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum addressed the incident in his emotional acceptance speech after winning the trophy for Best Actor in a Leading Role for King Richard.
“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. … Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams,” Smith said through tears, referring to Venus and Serena Williams‘ father and coach, whom he played in the biopic. “But love will make you do crazy things. … Thank you for this moment. And thank you on behalf of Richard and the entire Williams family. Thank you. I hope the Academy invites me back.”
One day later, the “Summertime” rapper issued a more direct apology to Rock. “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote via Instagram on Monday, March 28. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. … I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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.”
Several comedians have criticized Smith for hitting Rock over the joke, including Oscars cohost Wanda Sykes. “I was just like, ‘What? Is this really happening?'” the New Adventures of Old Christine alum, 58, said during her Wednesday, March 30, appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I just felt so awful for my friend Chris, and it was sickening; it was absolutely sickening. I physically felt ill and I’m still a little traumatized by it.”
The 40-year-old Life & Beth star, for her part, stated that she was still processing what unfolded during the ceremony. “I think we can all agree that the best way to unpack what happened is to stream my series @lifeandbethhulu and see me on tour this fall,” Schumer wrote via Instagram on Wednesday. “But for real. Still triggered and traumatized. … I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro.”
After describing the whole situation as “disturbing,” she concluded: “So much pain in @willsmith. Anyway, I’m still in shock and stunned and sad.”
Smith has since resigned from the Academy ahead of their board meeting later this month, where they are set to discuss the potential consequences of his actions. Rock, for his part, broke his silence at a standup gig earlier this week, noting that he was “still processing” what transpired.
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET.
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