Late-night talk show hosts weren’t sparing in their thoughts on Will Smith punching Chris Rock during the Oscars live broadcast on Sunday night.
On ABC, Jimmy Kimmel devoted most of his opening monologue to the incident and succinctly summed up the mood at the start of his show Monday night.
“It is now part of our lives forever. We will never stop talking about it. It was so shocking. The only thing I can really compare it to is when Mike Tyson bit off Holyfield’s ears,” he began.
“It was the Hollywood version of your drunken uncle starting a fight, ruining the wedding, then getting up and giving a long toast to the newlyweds,” Kimmel told a laughing audience at the slap.
Jimmy Kimmel devoted most of his monologue to the Smith/Rock punch
The three main late-night talk show hosts each addressed the Oscars slap between Will Smith and Chris Rock during the Oscars broadcast on Sunday night
Kimmel commented that no one did anything to stop Smith during or after his punch and his ensuing tirade.
‘A whole room of people, no one lifted a finger. Spiderman was there. Aquaman was there. Catwoman, all sitting on their hands. No one helped Chris rock!’ Kimmel said laughing.
Kimmel, who hosted the Oscars in 2017 and 2018, shared his thoughts on how he might have reacted if he had been hit.
“A lot of my friends have been texting me asking what I would have done if I had been on stage. I would have run! That’s what I would have done,” he says bluntly.
“Moving on Chris Rock and then winning the Oscar is like storming out of the house after breaking up with your girlfriend and then coming back because you forgot your keys,” Kimmel joked.
“According to a source, the Academy seriously considered having Will Smith removed from acting, but instead they decided to let him deliver the longest acting speech in history,” Kimmel continued.
“Which, of course, was the longest best acting speech in history.” They weren’t going to play him, he would have beaten everyone in the band!
“He would probably like to have one of those Men in Black memory erasers right now.”
Stephen Colbert said it was the ‘worst thing Smith had ever done’ before he started rolling out a host of movie flops including Wild Wild West
At CBS, Stephen Colbert got his shot at Smith within the first 10 seconds of The Late Show opening.
“It’s Monday, unless you’re Chris Rock, because I’m pretty sure he got slapped next week,” Colbert told the friendly crowd.
“This is the worst thing Will Smith has ever done,” he teased. ‘Wait, I forgot Wild, Wild West. He’s not here, is he? he said, looking carefully around the studio.
Colbert took some time to think about other ways Smith could have hurt Rock without hurting him physically.
“Will Smith was offended by the joke and wanted to stand up to his wife. Fine. Challenge Chris to a duel or, if you really want to punch him: don’t laugh at his jokes. It hurts way more than a punch, I promise!
Jimmy Fallon managed to avoid referring directly to the incident and redirected attention to Fallon’s longtime house band frontman Questlove.
“America may be divided, but it was kind of nice for all of us to come together and say, ‘Holy cr*p,’ at the same time,” Fallon joked.
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon was more nuanced in his approach and never explicitly referred to Smith by name or rehashed the Sunday night drama like his counterparts.
“America may be divided, but it was kind of nice for all of us to come together and say, ‘Holy cr*p,’ at the same time.
“Of course, I have to address the big moment that everyone is talking about, which is Questlove winning the Oscar for Best Documentary.”
Questlove, the drummer and frontman of Fallon’s longtime house band The Roots, had just won the Oscar moments after Smith was slapped, but hardly anyone noticed.
For those at the Dolby Theater and viewers watching at home, Questlove’s speech was drowned out amid shock and confusion over what had just transpired onstage between Smith and Rock.
But even after honoring his Tonight Show colleague, Fallon only hinted at what he clearly thought didn’t deserve any more attention.
“Yeah, there was a pretty tough moment during the show, and I think you all know what I’m talking about. Everyone in the audience looked shocked, and for once it wasn’t Botox.
“Seriously, you know it was a weird awards show when it ends with a statement from the LAPD, you know what I mean?”
Questlove won an Oscar for documentary feature, but its win came seconds after the on-air smash; Fallon felt he had been robbed of his moment