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‘This mother f—- played Ali! I played Pookie from ‘New Jack City!’: Chris Rock Returns to the Site of the Infamous Will Smith Slap, Shared More Insight About the Night

Comedian Chris Rock is currently on the road performing his latest stand-up routines for fans and one of the stops was at the Dolby Theatre. A return to this Hollywood house for the Brooklyn funnyman is a return to the place where one of the most embarrassing moments of his life took place.

From Thursday, Nov. 17 to Sunday, Nov. 20, Rock played center stage at the same venue where he hosted the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, earlier in the year on March 27.

During his first night at the Dolby, after joking about Jan. 6 and his friend Dave Chapelle’s recent “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig, the comedian jumped right into it and brought up the infamous smack he suffered at the hands of Will Smith.

He joked, according to the New York Post, “People were like, ‘Did it hurt?’ You’re go—mn right it hurt.”

He continued, “Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. I am not the same size, okay? This mother f—- played Ali! I played Pookie from ‘New Jack City!’ “

While poking fun at himself, he also addresses critics who believed he should have met violence with violence. He recounted the question he has been getting for months, “People say, ‘Why the f–k did you do nothing back?’ Because I got parents. Because I was raised, you know? You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people! No, I’m not a victim!”

Rock said he would never play a victim on stage or in real life. He also said he would never host the Oscars again, saying returning would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant” where she left her eyeglasses before she was murdered. 

This, and a joke about Meghan Markle in London, sparked a debate about Rock’s tendency to make jokes about women. A joke Rock made about one woman, Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was at the root of the Oscars assault.

During the most recent Oscars, Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hair, calling her “G.I. Jane” while freestyling a bit between award announcements.

“Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2;’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock said, referencing the 1997 film “G.I. Jane” where Demi Moore’s character sported the ultra-short cut.

The joke hurt Pinkett Smith’s feelings, as she had recently been diagnosed with alopecia. Will Smith, in response to the joke, jumped out of his seat, walked up to Rock, slapped him in the face on the national live stream and then said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f##king mouth.”

Smith would later apologize to the guests and the Academy, but refused to immediately address the comedian he slapped. After what appeared to be a season of self-reflection, he released a video pouring his regretful heart out and admitting he was sorry for hitting Rock.

Since the incident, Rock has been making power moves, touring with his friend Dave Chappelle and inking historic deals with streaming companies like Netflix.

Netflix released an official statement on Thursday, Nov. 10, butsaying Rock will make history by becoming the first artist on its platform to perform live. Rock will do a live comedy special in early 2023.

“Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation,” said Robbie Praw, Netflix vice president of Stand-up and Comedy Formats.

“We’re thrilled the entire world will be able to experience a live Chris Rock comedy event and be a part of Netflix history,” he continued. “This will be an unforgettable moment and we’re so honored that Chris is carrying this torch.”

The live event will make Rock’s second Netflix stand-up special. His first, “Chris Rock:Tambourine,” debuted over four years ago in February 2018.

Before the 2023 Netflix event, fans can catch him with Dave Chapelle for a few West Coast holiday performances. The upcoming shows are as follows:

Dec. 1: San Diego, CA — Viejas Arena

Dec. 3: San Diego, CA — Viejas Arena

Dec. 5: Phoenix, AZ — Footprint Center

Dec. 7: Anaheim, CA — Honda Center

Dec. 8: San Jose, CA — SAP Center

Dec. 11: San Francisco, CA — Chase Center

Dec. 12: Sacramento, CA — Golden 1 Center

Dec. 14: Thousand Palms, CA — Acrisure Arena

Dec. 16: Seattle, WA — Climate Pledge Arena

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