Just three days after Will Smith disrespected Chris Rock at the Oscars, the comic is addressing what happed in his first stand-up show since the altercation.
Rock performed a vended-out show Wednesday in Boston at the Wilbur Theater. On Sunday, the comic made a joke about Smith’s woman, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, and her bald head, which redounded in the “ King Richard” actor walking up to the stage and striking Rock in the face.
Rock only briefly addressed the slap during his show, saying he was “still kind of processing what happened.”
“Other than the weird thing, life is pretty good,” Rock said midway through his first of two sets. The nighttime performances came just three days after Smith smacked the comedian for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith while presenting an Academy Award.
Rock didn’t mention Smith or Pinkett Smith by name at his show in Boston. Wearing all white, he sounded to be more or less embarrassed by the multiple applauses he received. As the applause carried on for moments — with fans yelling “ I love you, Chris!” — the comic appeared to be getting emotional, a guest seated near the stage told The Associated Press.
“How was your weekend?” Rock joked before getting into his set.
The comedian made clear he wasn’t going to talk at length about it Wednesday.
“If you came to hear that, I’m not … I had like a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” Rock said.
He spent many nights confusing celebrities and politicians. Among them are the Duchess of Sussex and the Kardashians, as well as Presidents Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and former President Donald Trump. Following Sunday’s shocking incident, Rock continues his Ego Death comedy tour, which officially begins Saturday in New Jersey; Tickets were sold for the first show. The comedian is also giving six shows at Boston’s Wilbur before his tour begins – all of which have already sold out, according to the website Ticketmaster. Tickets for Rock Wednesday and subsequent dates in Wilbur initially ranged from $51 to $71, but dealers are now pricing them at exponentially higher. TickPick, a secondary ticketing company, grew 641%.
“We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined,” TickPick’s official Twitter page announced Monday.
George Guay, a 24-year-old fan from Boston who grew up on “Everybody Hates Chris,” told the Associated Press he bought a ticket after Rock was slapped by Smith.
“He’s the most popular celebrity so I want to be here,” Guay said before the show, adding that he hoped Rock would open with a response to the situation. “I just want a good show.”
Afterward, some fans were a little disappointed he did not address the controversy more directly. But they also said they could see from his body language that he wasn’t sure how to do it.
“As soon as I saw him, his mood was a little bit shocked,” said Dave Henriquez, a 48-year-old musician from Newton, Massachusetts. “I got that it was weighing on him.”
Erin Ryan, a 33-year-old teacher also from Newton who was with Henriquez, said she felt Rock wanted to perform his act, “not make the standup about the one incident.”
Kathryn West-Hines, a 50-year-old Pilates instructor from Malden, Massachusetts, said she came away with even more respect for Rock. “I thought it was amazing, classy,” she said, adding that he wasn’t going to let “what happened Sunday” take away his shine.
Outside the venue on Wednesday, a fan showed off a T-shirt featuring the “G.I. Jane” logo and Pinkett Smith’s face. Another had a shirt he made that showed Smith’s face and Outside the venue on Wednesday, one fan showed off a T-shirt with the logo “GI Jane’s and Pinkett Smith’s face on it. Another wore a shirt he made with Smith’s face on it and posted a indecent joke about the couple’s relationship. At least one person yelled on the show that Rock should sue Smith. a crude joke about the couple’s relationship.
At least one person yelled during the show that Rock should sue Smith.
Smith apologized to Rock on Instagram Monday, condemning violence “in all its forms” and also apologizing to the Academy, the Oscars’ producers, everyone in attendance and everyone watching from home.
“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,” he wrote.
Pinkett Smith also broke her silence following Rock’s “G.I. Jane 2” joke, sharing a graphic on Instagram that read: “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.”