Chris Rock brilliantly rips into Will Smith and Meghan Markle
For Chris Rock, Saturday night felt like his own “Independence Day.”
During his hysterical life Netflix special, “Selective Outrage,” the comedian finally let it loose in front of a certain huge home crowd about the infamous 2022 Oscars at which Will Smith slammed him on stage.
A brilliant Rock hit Smith harder than the movie star did with that alien in his hit 1996 action movie — and, well, Rock himself at the Academy Awards.
“Everybody was calling that guy ab-h,” Rock, 58 and in great shape, said of the media’s reaction to Smith’s well-reported marital problems leading up to the Oscars. And who did he hit? Me! a [N-word] he knows he can beat. That’s a bra-ass st.”
He joked about the physical pain: “It still hurts! I’ve got “Summertime” ringing in my ear!
But – and this was a continuous line of Rock’s material all night – he refuses to give in to our 2023 culture of perpetual victimization.
“Right now we live in a world where the emergency room is full of paper cut mothers,” he said.
“You will never see me cry at Oprah or Gayle. You’ll never see it. Never going to happen. ‘I could not believe it! And I loved ‘Men in Black’!’, Rock wailed mockingly. “No! F–k that’s–t. I took that hit like Pacquiao!
While Rock devoted his last ten minutes to the Smith scandal, the first hour brilliantly ripped into touchy subjects like performative wakefulness and Meghan Markle.
The comic deftly put an end to Prince Harry’s wife’s endless outrage at the perceived racist tendencies of the British royal family.
“It’s the royal family!” he said. “You didn’t Google these moms? What the hell is she talking about ‘She didn’t know’?!”
He continued, “That’s like marrying into the Budweiser family and saying, ‘They drink a lot.'”
And as for allegations about a certain member of the royal family inquiring about what Markle’s first baby, Archie, would look like, “That’s not racist,” Rock insisted. “Because even black people want to know how brown the baby is going to be!”
Some of Rock’s most vicious — and ingenious — material focused on what he called “selective outrage,” or society’s tendency to pick and choose who to cancel for committing much the same acts.
“A person does something, they are canceled. Another person does the exact same thing, nothing,” he said. He is furious with “the kind of people who play Michael Jackson songs but don’t want to play R. Kelly. Same crime – one of them just has better numbers.
Rock is also fed up with corporate brands taking empty positions on important issues to wake up. He said he saw a sign at Lululemon athleisure clothing store condemning racism and hatred.
“Who gives off-k?” he said. “You just sell yoga pants!”
But it was the Smith section that everyone was waiting for, and you could feel Rock’s already nuclear energy doubling as he insisted that the ‘King Richard’ star’s wrath had absolutely nothing to do with anything the comic ever did.
“Everyone knows I had nothing to do with that,” he said, suggesting that Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s known affair with her son Jaden’s rapper boyfriend August Alsina in 2015 was the cause of Smith’s anguish towards him.
“For those who don’t know – everyone knows! – his wife was the king of her son’s friend, okay?’ he said. “Well, normally I wouldn’t talk about this, but for some reason this one [N-word] put that thing on the internet! I had no idea why two talented people would do something that f–king low-down!”
The fantastic special was a big win for the very talented Rock, which aired almost a year after the blow and just over a week before the 2023 Oscars telecast. In this Hollywood fight, he is the undisputed winner.
And it was also a sad reminder that next week’s awards show will leave us with three hours of yawning and boredom as this truthful comedian delivered 60 thrilling minutes of fearlessness and fire.