Chris Rock is finally ready to make public jokes about the 2022 Oscar smackdown that blew up pop culture in March.
Will Smith infamously slapped the 57-year-old standup comic during the 94th Academy Awards after he made a cheeky joke about the actor’s wife, Jada-Pinkett Smith, who had been open about her struggles with alopecia.
Rock has since mostly declined to speak out about the incident – but on Thursday during his new live comedy show Death Ego, he quipped that words don’t hurt as much as a slap in the face.
“I’m fine, in case anyone was wondering,” Rock said during the show at Britain’s Royal Albert Hall, according to The Times of London. “I got most of my hearing back.”
He added that he still would not speak about the altercation between himself and Smith, 53.
“People expect me to talk about the cops — t, I won’t talk about it now, I’ll get to it eventually — on Netflix,” he said, laughing.
Rock continued, “Anyone who says ‘words hurt’ — has never been slapped in the face.”
The comedian previously explained that he wouldn’t discuss the slap until he sees a check with his name on it: “I’m fine. I’ve got a whole show and I won’t talk about it until I get paid,” he told his audience last month during a comedy performance at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in California.
But just a week before his casino gig, the creator of “Everybody Hates Chris” told fans during a surprise visit to the Comedy Cellar in New York City: “Lower your expectations. I won’t go into that.”
Rock also touched on the subject during a secret show with Dave Chappelle after his own violent on-stage altercation, jokingly telling the other standup star, “I was slapped by the gentlest [N-word] that ever rapped.”
Meanwhile, Steve Harvey recently relented his Capture the incident on the Oscars broadcast earlier this month during a speech at Georgia State University.
The Family Feud host, 65, called the King Richard actor’s move a “punk move” and said he “lost a lot of respect for him.”
The author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man then described how his faith would have helped him had he been in the same situation.
“I’m a Christian, but I’m really undeveloped. I don’t have high level Christianity. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m like a 2. That’s the Christian level I can work on,” Harvey said.
He added: “They hit [Dallas-based megachurch bishop] TD Jakes, he’ll turn the other cheek. You hit me? If you lean back in your seat, Jada would have to get out of the way. That’s the kind of Christian I am.”