Comedian Chris Rock is currently one of the most talked-about persons in the nation. After actor Will Smith assaulted him during the 2022 Academy Award ceremony, people are curious about how the funnyman feels about the violation or want to know what the next steps are.
Despite inquiring minds wanting to know, he has kept quiet about the incident, saying very little about it in public.
The few occasions that the Brooklyn native has spoken about the “slap heard around the world” were during a couple of stand-up performances.
On Tuesday, April 5, during a surprise set at the Comedy Cellar in New York City, one audience member told Page Six he said to the crowd anxious to get the tea, “Lower your expectations. I’m not going to address that s–t.”
Days after the slap, he told an assembly of fans in Boston — where tickets leaped from $40+ to $410 — he was “still processing” the traumatic event.
However, on Friday, April 8, at his show at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, right outside of Coachella, California, he let his audience in on something he has figured out. The businessman will not be talking about the incident until he gets a check.
According to the Desert Sun, Rock told the sold-out crowd that he was “ok.”
“I’m OK, I have a whole show,” He assured the people before stating, “And I’m not talking about that until I get paid.”
TMZ gave a few scenarios that the “Fargo” actor might have been alluding to. One thought is he is waiting for a network to pay big bucks for a sit-down with the celebrity. Another thought is he might hit Smith with a civil lawsuit.
The comedian was sure to get the people focused on his routine, saying, “Life is good. I got my hearing back.”
Much of Rock’s show was tailored around not-exactly-topical celebrity gossip and mishaps, including Meghan Markle’s accusations that the British royal family is racist, Hillary Clinton’s two failed presidential runs (2008 & 2016), and the Kardashian/ Jenner clan’s infatuation with and proximity to Blackness.
Jokingly, he weaved into his bit about how they “love Black people so much they take anyone in.”
Another section of the night’s performance looked at major companies’ attempts to embrace diversity and inclusion, life after divorce, and raising his daughter.
The most profound message he touched on was one that several comedians have addressed repeatedly over the last few years: editing jokes that people think are inappropriate. He said many people are afraid to say certain things because they don’t want to offend people.
Dave Chapelle addressed this in his last Netflix stand-up special. He spoke about his troubles with the LGBT community believing he was homo/transphobic based on his jokes. The internet wanted to cancel Chapelle, but his fans took to social media to defend the Def Comedy Jam alum.
The attendees seemed to love Rock. Reports say he received a standing ovation for his performance.
No video exists of the show as the promoters did not allow cell phones in the building.
All attending the show were given a locking pouch for their mobile devices, making sure no one leaked footage from his set.