Jimmy Kimmel's slapstick take on the Will Smith and Chris Rock debacle at Oscars - Hindustan Times
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Jimmy Kimmel's slapstick take on the Will Smith and Chris Rock debacle at the 95th Academy Awards

Mar 13, 2023 12:26 PM IST

Jimmy Kimmel took on the task of emceeing the Academy Awards for the third time, and he didn't shy away from referencing one of the most talked-about incidents from the previous year's ceremony: the slap between Will Smith and Chris Rock.

The Oscars are known for being a night of glamour, celebration, and, of course, plenty of jokes from the host. This year, Jimmy Kimmel took on the task of emceeing the Academy Awards for the third time, and he didn't shy away from referencing one of the most talked-about incidents from the previous year's ceremony: the slap between Will Smith and Chris Rock.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. (AP)(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. (AP)(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Strict policies in place

Kimmel started his monologue by reassuring the audience that they would be safe and that any act of violence would be dealt with by awarding the perpetrator with the Oscar for Best Actor. He also joked about the crisis team that was in place after the slapping incident, quipping that if anything unpredictable or violent happened, the audience should "do what you did last year: nothing."

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Slap jokes galore

Kimmel made several references to the slapping incident throughout the night. During his hosting time at the Oscars 2023, Jimmy Kimmel made light of the fact that there were five Irish actors up for awards, quipping that the likelihood of another altercation on stage had increased. He then alluded to Will Smith's popular song from 1997, humorously suggesting that anyone who wanted to "get jiggy with it" would first have to face a daunting line-up of bodyguards.

Kimmel even took a moment during the presentation of the best documentary feature category to reference the incident, saying he hoped it would go off without a "Hitch," a nod to the movie in which Smith starred.

Martial arts and Guillermo's protection

When asked if he was prepared to handle a "Slap, Part Two," Kimmel joked that he had been studying martial arts since being asked to host the show. He also listed off several famous audience members that a potential assailant would have to go through before getting to him, including Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), Michelle Yeoh, The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), and Guillermo del Toro.

The last laugh

As the telecast drew to a close, Kimmel couldn't resist one final jab at the slapping incident. He approached a board that displayed the count of Oscars telecasts without any mishap and appended the digit 1 to it.

Kimmel's willingness to make jokes about the slapping incident showed that he was willing to bring up any subject for a laugh. His humour was irreverent and cutting, but never mean-spirited. It was clear that he was having a good time, and the audience was along for the ride.

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