Jimmy Kimmel is reflecting on last year’s Oscars telecast when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock across the face onstage. The late-night talk show was watching the show from home.
“It’s still shocking that that happened,” Kimmel, 55, tells People. “To see something like that happen outside of like The Maury Povich Show is shocking. And then for it to happen on the Oscars magnifies it by about a million times…. I think it’s something that everybody regrets and that we will move past. One day it will be looked at in the same way as that guy running onstage naked is looked at: a weird moment that we all talked about and we hopefully learn from.”
While Kimmel hasn’t talked to Smith, he has touched base with Rock, and commends the comedian for keeping calm in the moment. “I mean, to be slapped in the face and to stay that cool is something that Chris should be proud of,” he says. “Chris’s grandchildren, I hope, will still be proud of that when he’s dead and gone.”
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This year’s Oscars takes place on Sunday, March 12, with Kimmel set to host the evening for a third time. The red carpet pre-show will be on at 6:30 p.m. Watch the 2023 Oscars on ABC live at 8 p.m. ET or stream it on the ABC app with your television provider, Hulu Live TV, YouTubeTV, AT&T TV and FuboTV (many of these services offer a free trial as well).
Meanwhile, Chris Rock will be performing this weekend for Netflix’s first-ever live, global streaming event. Chris Rock: Selective Outrage will stream at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday (March 4). Selective Outrage is the comedian’s second special for Netflix following 2018’s Tambourine. Since April 2022, Rock has been traveling the globe as part of his Ego Death World Tour, which marked his return to live comedy after a five-year break. Rock will perform in Baltimore, at Maryland’s iconic Hippodrome Theatre, with the pre-show, The Show Before the Show, to be hosted by comedian and actor Ronny Chieng with appearances from Arsenio Hall, Leslie Jones, Deon Cole and more.
Right after the show, David Spade and Dana Carvey will tap in as co-hosts for The Show After the Show. Taking place live from Los Angeles’ The Comedy Store, guests will include comedian JB Smoove and six-time NBA champion and MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Both The Show After the Show and The Show Before the Show will only be available live on March 4.