Chris Rock gets standing ovations in Boston in first show since Oscars slap

BOSTON — Comedian Chris Rock received a pair of standing ovations Wednesday night in his first appearance since actor Will Smith slapped him during the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony.

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Rock appeared at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston to a boisterous crowd, WFXT-TV reported.

“Whoa, OK!” Rock exclaimed after walking on stage in an all-white suit, Variety reported. “Yo, let me do the show!”

The ovations lasted for several minutes, CNN reported. The comedian then asked the crowd, “How was your weekend?” which was greeted with laughter.

>> Academy: Will Smith broke code of conduct, was asked but refused to leave ceremony

“I don’t have a bunch of (expletive) about what happened (Sunday), so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” Rock told the audience. “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point, I’ll talk about that (expletive). And it will be serious and funny.”

Warning: Video and Instagram post below contains obscenities.

Rock did not directly mention the Oscars ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or Smith.

Wednesday’s appearance was the first stop for Rock’s Ego Death Tour, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ticket sales for the tour, which will continue through the fall, have soared since Sunday’s incident.

According to a statement by the Academy earlier Wednesday, Smith broke the organization’s code of conduct on Sunday when he approached the stage after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and slapped the comedian. According to the Academy, Smith was asked to leave the ceremony but refused, The Associated Press reported.

Rock, a presenter at the Academy Awards, was awarding an Oscar for best documentary feature, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He was confronted by Smith after the actor reacted negatively to the comedian’s “G.I. Jane 2″ joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, according to the AP. Smith walked onstage and appeared to strike Rock.

Pinkett Smith has a shaved head and suffers from alopecia, a hair-loss condition, according to the AP.

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After returning to his seat in the audience, Smith shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth,” Variety reported.

Smith, who later won an Oscar for best actor for his role in “King Richard,” returned to the stage and apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech, the AP reported.

Smith apologized to Rock on Monday.

On Wednesday, Smith was given 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and possible sanctions and has the chance to provide a written response, the Academy said in its statement. The next board meeting is scheduled for April 18, Variety reported.

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