Before Chris Rock took the stage in Baltimore, fellow comedian Arsenio Hall, who was part of the pre-show from the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, joked, “Will Smith will not [enjoy this special]. I bet he slapped the f— out of the TV tonight.”
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith had to know it was coming. Arsenio knew it was coming. The Baltimore audience knew it was coming. Hell, my deceased grandmother, “Ga” knew it was coming. Chris Rock was finally going to take the stage and break his silence on the infamous Oscar slap that took down Rock and Smith’s career.
However, the comedian, wrapped in all white and wearing Prince’s love symbol around his neck, waited until the end of the one-hour Netflix special, Selective Outrage, to throw thunderbolts at the couple.
Rock began the show by saying, “I’m going to do a show tonight without offending anyone, but you never know who might get triggered. People say they always say words hurt. That’s what they say. ‘You gotta watch it, because words hurt. Anybody that says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” he said at the top of the show that saw him taking aim at the Kardashians, Meghan Markle and his own kids.
He then explained the theme of the evening: “The thing I have a problem with is the selective outrage,” Rock said, pointing out that at Lululemon, “There’s a sign that says we don’t support racism, sexism, discrimination, or hate.” His joke that instead of non-racist $100 yoga pants, he’d rather have $20 racist yoga pants,” got a big laugh.
After a laugh-out-loud bit on the Lululemon, Rock took aim at Meghan Markle, saying she should have known that the British Royal Family was racist. “They invented colonialism,” he said. “Some of that s— she went through, that’s not racism. That’s just some in-law s—”
Rock attributed the real source of the slap to Smith’s frustration with Jada. “Everyone called Will a bitch,” for putting up with Jada’s affair, “but I’m the one he hit.” Rock was referring to Smith and Pinkett Smith’s open marriage and her affair with their son Jaden’s friend, August Alsina.
After discussing the January 6 Capitol attack, Rock launched into there are only mixed couples in commercials on TV. He then switched to Snoop Dogg doing so many spots. “I’m not dissing Snoop. The last thing I need is another rapper mad at me,” a sentiment he echoed after a remark about Jay-Z.
Rock then offered his point of view on O.J. Simpson and the Kardashians, “O.J. Simpson killed two white people and he got away with it. That’s a whole ‘nother kind of Black Excellence,” he said as the crowd whooped. He also joked that Robert Kardashian, who was part of Simpson’s legal dream team, was cursed for it. “From that time forward, for the rest of eternity to the end of time, his daughters are only gonna f— n—s. CRAZY n—as,” he said, obliquely referring to Kanye West and Lamar Odom.
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“You can’t tell none of these jokes at work,” Rock laughed, before dropping that it’s okay for him to talk about abortion since it’s a women’s issue: “I’ve paid for more abortions than anybody in this room,” he said as the crowd howled. “I am pro-choice. I believe women should have the right to kill babies. They should kill as many babies as they want,” joking that women should be able to kill babies up until they’re four years old, or until they get their first report card: “He ain’t never gettin’ a scholarship.”
Even Rock’s daughters weren’t safe. He called them onto the carpet to joke about how spoiled they are. “Them Rock girls are f—ing spoiled. And I did it, man,” saying that his daughters fence, ride horses and ski and got the “Illuminati” package at Disneyland. While his daughter Lola went to Portugal on a class trip – “my class went to the Bronx Zoo, watched a gorilla jerk off.” When Rock’s daughter went AWOL during the class trip, he went to the dean and told them to kick her out, “so she doesn’t end up on OnlyFans or something.”
On dating younger women, Rock quipped, “I didn’t get rich and stay in shape to talk about Anita Baker,” he informs them, in a riff about age-gap dating. “I’m trying to f— Doja Cat.”
But it was the methodical takedown of Smith and Pinkett-Smith that brought the house down. He began by explaining where the bad blood started – at the 2016 Oscars. “It wasn’t until the end of the one-hour special that he lashed out with a year’s worth of resentment. “She started that s—,” he said of Pinkett Smith’s comments that he should quit hosting the Oscars.
Rock had made a crack about their boycott of the 2016 ceremony because Will Smith wasn’t nominated for his performance in Concussion.
“Will Smith practices selective outrage. Everybody that really knows I had nothing to do with that. I didn’t have any entanglements,” Rock explained “I normally would not talk about this s—, but for some reason these n–—s put that s— on the internet. She hurt him way more than he hurt me.”
Rock was referring to back in July 2020, when Pinkett-Smith opened up about having an “entanglement” with the singer while she and Will were on a break. She explained at the time that she and Will eventually were able to repair their relationship, saying at the time, “We have really gotten to that new place of unconditional love.”
“We all been cheated on. Everybody in this industry has been cheated on,” joked Rock in the comedy special, “None of us have ever been interviewed by the person that cheated on us on television. None of us. … Why the f— would you do that s—? She hurt him way more than he hurt me, okay?”
Rock also said that when people ask if the slap hurt, he answers, “You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith,” he began. “Everybody knows! Everybody f—ing knows! Yes, it happened. I got smacked. A year ago, I got slapped at the f—ing Oscars by this motherf— and people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts! Yes it hurt. It still hurts. I got Summertime ringing in my ears. But I’m not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah. I took that hit like [Manny] Pacquiao.”
Reviews for the comedian have been mixed, from USA TODAY referring to Rock as an “angry old man” to the New York Post, saying the show was brilliant. The Reel 360 News team laughed a lot. Rock was furious and funny.