Tonight on SNL, Weekend Update‘s anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che made every Will Smith joke they’d been holding onto over the course of the past week, following the Oscar winner’s slap of Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards.
“Intelligence officials are saying that Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing in Ukraine,” said Jost up top, “which is kind of like Will Smith’s agent telling him, ‘You crushed it at the Oscars !”
Jost said that from his perspective, Smith’s actions were “disgraceful”—particularly because his actions set “a terrible precedent for having to defend your wife at awards shows.”
Che noted that during his acceptance speech after landing the award for Best Actor, the King Richard star said, “Love will make you do crazy things.”
“You know what else makes you do crazy things? Crazy,” he joked. “But I understand where Will’s coming from. I mean, you can’t expect him to sit there and watch another man jump all over his wife—without signing an NDA.”
Yesterday, Jost continued, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, before the awards body could expel him. “He wasn’t going to,” said Jost, “but then Jada gave him that look.”
If Smith had been expelled, Jost noted, he would have joined “a small group” of people that have been kicked out of the Academy, which includes Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski and Harvey Weinstein. “Or, as they’re also known, ‘Bad Boys For Life.’”
Che went on to talk about alopecia, the health condition that served as the basis for Rock’s joke at Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense, which in turn led to the comic’s altercation with her husband. “Can we stop pretending everybody knew Jada had alopecia? I mean, as much as we’ve heard about Jada and Will’s personal lives, you can’t expect us to retain everything,” he said. “It’s like Kanye saying, ‘Don’t act like y’all don’t know I had psoriasis!’”
Selfishly, Che said, as a comedian, he is “tired” of people “putting their own insecurities” on his joke intentions. “I mean, I can’t make a joke about it being cold outside,” he said, “without somebody yelling back, ‘Stop making fun of my small penis! Keep my small penis out your mouth!’”
Part of what was remarkable about the situation at the Oscars, to Jost, was that Smith was allowed to stay in the audience (and even accept a trophy) after slapping Rock, simply because the comic said it was okay for him to do so. “So now we just ask the victim right after they get hit in the head? ‘Hey, you okay if the guy who just attacked you hangs around for a while? You don’t want to make him mad again,’” he joked. “I can’t believe the Academy has a worse concussion protocol than the NFL.”
Honestly though, Jost continued, he “can’t even blame” the Academy for not knowing what to do. “Nobody knew what to do. Even people at the Oscars were googling, ‘Did Will Smith just slap Chris Rock?’” he observed. “I think we should just acknowledge that that was one of the craziest things we will ever see in our lives. It’s truly like the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, but if Janet [Jackson]’s nipple slapped [Justin] Timberlake.”
Not to mention, Che said, Rock has “been very public” about dealing with a nonverbal learning disorder, which makes it “hard for him to understand” nonverbal signals. “Sort of like how when he saw an angry Will Smith charging towards him, instead of moving out of the way, he put both his hands behind his back, smiled and said, ‘Uh oh!’
later on updatethe anchors welcomed OJ Simpson (Kenan Thompson) to the desk to give his take on the Oscars debacle, with Che asking him whose side he found himself on.
“Oh, now Michael, you know me. I hate conflict. They both seem like good guys,” said Simpson. “But honestly, I didn’t even understand Chris Rock’s joke. I mean, what the hell is G.I. Jane?”
Che pointed out that it’s a film from the ’90s, with Simpson exclaiming, “The ’90s? Oh, I don’t remember anything from the ’90s.”
Simpson said that in his humble opinion, Smith may have overreacted by slapping Rock. “I mean, Will, I don’t want to say that you’ve got rage issues, but if the glove fits,” he deadpanned. “I’m just saying.”
Che then wondered if Simpson was, in fact, on Rock’s side after all.
“I didn’t say all that. Chris isn’t exactly innocent neither,” Simpson observed. “Nobody likes to be made fun of. I mean, you might be too young to remember, but people used to make a lot of mean jokes about me.”
When Che asked what said jokes were about, Simpson simply said, “All kinds of stuff.
“Point is, sometimes, jokes can go too far, especially when it’s about another man’s family,” said Simpson, “because like Will Smith said in his speech, love will make you do crazy things, allegedly.”
When Che pointed out that there had been discussion of taking Smith’s Oscar away, Simpson yelled, “You ain’t taking my trophies away!”
Also stopping by the update desk to break down Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing was Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Cecily Strong). Clips from tonight’s edition can be found above and below.