SNL lampoons Will Smith over Oscars slap, from a star-struck seat filler’s perspective

Saturday Night Live (SNL) took their first opportunity to lampoon Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards with multiple segments throughout the program ridiculing the actor’s instability and relationship with his wife.

Standup comedian Jerrod Carmichael hosted the weekly program and took part in a parody sketch of the award ceremony. Portraying a designated seat-filler, Carmichael depicted an eyewitness account of Smith’s behavior surrounding the incident where he walked up on stage to assault Rock after an ill-received joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.

Star-struck by the opportunity to sit beside the A-list actor, Carmichael taps Smith, played by cast member Chris Redd, on the shoulder to tell him, “I am a huge fan, man.”

The standup comic then gushed over his admiration for the performers body of work as Smith enthusiastically accepts the praise. Calling Smith his hero, Carmichael said, “This is the coolest night of my life, I mean I’m talking to Will Smith, Chris Rock just got up on stage,” he went on signaling the now infamous joke was coming before asking for a selfie.

Smith agrees to the request before audio of Rock’s quick G.I. Jane joke is played prompting him to laugh and rise from his seat telling the camera ready seat-filler, “Hey, I’ll be right back man.”

A loud slap is heard as the view remains focused on Carmichaels stunned reaction, and when Smith returns to his seat, he behaves as though nothing happened continuing the conversation with the fan, “So, where you from, man?”

His jovial attitude is interspersed with the actual shouts Smith had volleyed at Rock where he angrily yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your f*cking mouth!”

Another seat-filler, played by cast member Kyle Mooney, returns from the restroom having missed the incident and reacting in awe that he is seated so close to Smith. Pulling out his own phone to post about it on social media, Mooney sees the trending story of the slap and states aghast, “Oh my god.”

For the remainder of the sketch, the fans are depicted as willing to forfeit their own identities in order to not upset the performer who begins dancing to Carmichaels ringtone, set to Smith’s late 90s song  “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” declaring “Everything is normal.”

Carmichael had touched on the incident in his opening monologue as well where he insisted he didn’t want to talk about it before spending half of his time on it.

“Isn’t it kind of crazy — it feels like we’ve been talking about it for so long,” he stated. “This is going to blow your mind, can you believe it’s been six days? This happened a week ago. Doesn’t it feel like it happened years ago? Like doesn’t it feel like it happened when we were all in high school?”

Michael Che and Colin Jost also spent a considerable portion of their Weekend Update segment mocking the incident from every angle. Jost, who is married to Academy Award nominated actress Scarlett Johansson made a personal joke.

“Will Smith, for those of you who don’t know,” he began, “walked on stage during the Academy Awards and slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, which I think was a disgraceful act that sets a terrible precedent for having to defend your wife at awards shows.”

As reported, Smith has since resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over his behavior stating, “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

An investigation by the Academy is ongoing to determine if further disciplinary measures are required with their next board meeting scheduled for April 18.


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