As a close friend and former SNL co-star of Chris Rock, a stand-up comedian with plenty of crowd interaction experience and a former awards show host, David Spade is in a unique position to speak on the Will Smith slap at the Oscars. He defended his buddy in the aftermath of the original assault, and now, he’s offered up some additional, extremely thoughtful comments about what happened and how much comedy has changed.
Appearing as a guest on Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, David Spade was asked about his views on doing comedy in the age of cancel culture. He said he’s not typically one who “starts a lot of shit” in his stand-up, but he pointed to guys like Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr who really push the boundaries. According to him, that was “really the idea” when he first started doing comedy. You wanted “to push it a little bit” to get people laughing, but nowadays, some people want to tear comedians down if they’re offended when most of the time “there’s no malice” behind the joke. Here’s a portion of his thoughts…
Obviously, his answer is speaking broadly about society and how much people and perceptions have changed since he first started doing stand-up in the 1980s, but it’s also addressing what happened with Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars because he didn’t like his joke about his wife too. That came up broadly and more directly during the podcast conversation. Spade said he likes how quiet Rock has been about the whole thing and said he thinks he doesn’t want to talk about it much publicly because he doesn’t want to feel like he’s “ratting someone out.”
Of course it wouldn’t be a conversation about cancel culture, however, without Spade pushing the envelope himself and making a risky joke too. During the chat, the longtime actor mused that it would really “help” Rock if there was a more famous slapping incident. He singled out The Royal Family as a possible option…
As of press time, there haven’t yet been any other high profile slaps to deflect some of the heat off Chris Rock. The Queen’s Jubilee went off without any major hitches, or at least any high-profile acts of violence among the Royals. Thankfully for Rock, however, the chaos seems to be dying down, and now that Smith officially apologized on record, it may slowly fade away until it’s simply one of a thousand wild Hollywood stories that gets referenced now and again.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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