Chris Rock saves the Will Smith jokes for last in his new standup special Selective Outrage, which Netflix livestreamed from Baltimore on Saturday.
The comedy special marks Rock’s first major show since last year’s infamous Oscars mishap in which Smith stormed the stage and slugged Rock in the face on live television.
Selective Outrage amounts to a slow buildup to the final ten minutes, when Rock unleashes a wave of comic fury at the Smith couple. Along the way, the comedian delivers a seamless string of jokes and anecdotes, skewering trigger warnings, woke corporations, transgenderism, Meghan Markle, his daughter Lola, and the abortion debate.
Rock keeps the political preaching to a merciful minimum, playing both sides of the abortion debate and making a fleeting reference to January 6. Mostly, he picks apart cultural hypocrisy, as suggested by the show’s title, in his signature raucous style.
“You can’t tell none of these jokes at work, motherfucker!” he jokes.
Here are five of the best and most memorable moments of the show. Don’t read any further if you plan on watching for yourself.
(1) Trigger warnings
Rock kicks off the show with a swipe at wokeness and an indirect reference to the Oscars slap. “I’m gonna try to do a show tonight without offending nobody. K? I’m gonna try my best. You know why? You never know who might get triggered,” he says. “That’s right. You say the wrong things, motherfuckers get scared. You gotta watch out. You know what people say — they always say — ‘words hurt.””
He adds: “Anyone who says ‘words hurt’ has never been punched in the face.”
(2) Woke corporations
The comedian skewers woke corporations who disingenuously virtue-signal their progressive values. He calls out Lululemon, the upscale fitness apparel company, for declaring, “We don’t support racism, sexism, discrimination, or hate.”
“They sell $100 yoga pants. $100 dollar yoga pants!” Rock says. “They hate somebody. They hate the poor.”
He adds: “I think I speak for the entire audience tonight when I say most people in this crowd would prefer a pair of $20 racist yoga pants.”
(3) Meghan Markle, victim
“Everybody tryin’ to be a victim,” he says, referring to the Duchess of Sussex. “Seemed like a nice lady. Just complainin’. I was like, didn’t she hit the light-skin lottery?”
Rock later adds: “Some of that shit she went through was not racism. It was just some in-law shit.” He cites Markle’s Oprah Winfrey interview in which Markle claimed some members of the royal family wanted to know what color her children would be.
“That’s not racist,” Rock says. “Because even black people want to know how brown the baby going to be. We check behind the ears!”
Though he declares himself “absolutely” pro-choice,” Rock tries to play both sides of the debate.
“I believe women should have the right to kill babies,” he says. “That’s right! I’m on your side! I believe you should have the right to kill as many babies as. you want. Kill them all! I don’t give a fuck!”
Later, he jokes: “Ladies, if you have to pay to get an abortion, you should get an abortion.”
(5) Will Smith
Rock concludes the show focusing on the Oscars slap, with a lengthy tirade against Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
“People were like, did it hurt?” he says “It still hurts! I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears.” He adds: “But I’m not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah or Gayle, crying.”
Later he recalls how much he used to admire Will Smith. “Now, I watch Emancipation just to see him get whupped.”
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