Dave Chappelle had an intense response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards during a show at Liverpool’s M&S Arena on Thursday, September 1. The comedian, 49, dissed Will, 53, following the “slap heard ’round the world” at the Oscars in March. Dave called out the King Richard star for showing his true colors in one of his jokes about the incident. “Will did the impression of a perfect person for 30 years, and he ripped his mask off and showed us he was as ugly as the rest of us,” he said, according to The New York Post.
Despite calling the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star “ugly” in the routine, the Chapelle’s Show comic did call on Will to be more authentic and true to himself. “I hope he doesn’t put his mask back on again, and lets his real face breath,” he quipped. “I see myself in both men.”
The discussion came as the two comics joined each other onstage, and Dave asked if the slap “hurt.” Of course, Chris, 53, said that it was painful, and he quipped that the joke that he’d made about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald hairstyle (due to her alopecia) wasn’t hurtful enough to warrant a slap. “The m**********r hit me over a bulls**t joke. The nicest joke I ever told,” Chris quipped.
Dave notably had his own run-in with someone climbing on stage and attacking him during a comedy show at the Hollywood Bowl in May. He addressed the incident in a statement by his representative Carla Sims. “The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” he said.
Chris has been very reserved about speaking about the slap during his comedy shows. At his first April gig after the incident, he had warned the crowd that he wasn’t going to speak on the slap for a while. As time has gone on, he’s made more subtle jokes referring to the infamous slap during some of his shows. During a New Jersey show with Kevin Hart, he’d told the fellow comic that he doesn’t consider himself to be a “victim.” At an Arizona show at the end of August, Chris started opening up about it a bit more. “He’s bigger than me,” he quipped. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
Months after the slap, Will also issued a formal apology to the comedian in a video in July. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable,” he said, before offering apologies to the rest of Chris’ family.