Chris Rock Botched a Major Will Smith Punchline During 'Selective Outrage' Live Special
Chris Rock has been doing standup comedy for decades, but the stakes have never been quite as high as his latest Netflix special, Selective Outrage. Not only were the eyes of the world on him as he prepared to comment on Will Smith assaulting him at the Oscars, but this was all happening live. Unlike most comedy specials, there would be no way to edit out blunders after the fact or splice in footage from another performance to show the proper execution of a joke. Rock learned that the hard way, as he botched one of his big punchlines on the livestream.
Towards the end of the show, Rock was explaining that Will and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith had beef with him over the 2016 Oscars. Jada thought Rock should resign from the gig as host because the Academy chose not to nominate Will for his performance in the movie Concussion. Rock quipped about the request on that year's broadcast. However, instead of saying "Concussion," he said "Emancipation," Smith's latest movie.
"Years ago his wife said I should quit the Oscars, (and) I shouldn't host 'cause her man didn't get nominated for Emancipation, the biggest piece of piece of s—, ever! So the n— gives me a concussion."
Rock then realized he screwed up, saying, "No, not Emancipation, I f—ed up the joke." Rock became a bit flustered, steering into calling Jada a "b—" and circled back around to deliver his joke properly.
"She started this s—," Rock continued. "She said that me, a f—ing grown ass man, should quit his job because 'My husband didn't get nominated for Concussion,' and then this n— gives me a f—ing concussion. What the —, man?"
The comedian would go on to use Emancipation in another joke, noting that he had watched Smith's performance in the Apple TV+ flick, but not for the right reasons. "I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life, and now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped," Rock said. "Got me rooting for massa: 'Hit 'em again!'"
Chris Rock's Selective Outrage is now available on Netflix. As of press time, Rock's slip-up has not been edited out.