Jimmy Kimmel ended up not turning his late-night show over to Conan O’Brien Monday night, which meant he had plenty of time to go deep on the wildest thing to happen at the Oscars since he presided over the infamous La La Land-Moonlight mix-up, which now seems oddly quaint by comparison.
“It was a big night last night,” the two-time Oscar host began, wondering if there was anyone watching who hadn’t seen Will Smith smack Chris Rock across the face yet. Just in case, he replayed the moment, which he referred to as “the old Hitch slap” that was “so shocking” we might never stop talking about it.
“Even Kanye was like, you went on stage and did WHAT at an award show?” Kimmel joked. The “weirdest part,” he explained, was that Smith could be seen laughing at Rock’s joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s lack of hair and only decided he’d “better do something” when he looked over and realized she “wasn’t amused.”
“Nobody could have predicted that the most controversial movie of 2022 would be G.I. Jane, but it was,” he added. Kimmel went on to praise Rock for not even flinching after Smith hit him, joking, “I would have been crying so hard.”
After breaking down the already ugly history between the two men, Kimmel said, “Obviously Chris Rock did not deserve to be slapped in the face for a joke.” And while Smith claimed he was just defending his wife’s honor, the host described the situation as “damned if you do, Ted Cruz if you don’t.”
Finally, Kimmel called out Smith for getting “very jiggy with it” at the Vanity Fair Oscar party after the show—before ultimately issuing a “heartfelt apology” to Rock the next day.
“To me, there’s only one more step to make this right,” he concluded. “And that’s the Comedy Central Roast of Will Smith hosted by Chris Rock.”
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