Should The Emmys Be Making Will Smith Jokes About The Oscars Slap? Patton Oswalt Weighs In

Patton Oswalt holding a microphone while telling a joke in Patton Oswalt: We All Scream.
(Image credit: Netflix)

TV's biggest night has finally arrived and, as the 2022 Emmy Awards draw closer, there are numerous ongoing conversations about the nominees, host Kenan Thompson and more. Amid this, people are also wondering if the show will in any way address the fact that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars earlier this year, and some are pondering if it's appropriate to make jokes about the incident. Now, comedian Patton Oswalt has opened up about the possibility while discussing what he hopes to see at the Emmys.

Patton Oswalt talked about what he has loved seeing from past shows, during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Emmy Nominees Night. He championed camaraderie and took a moment to appreciate what an exciting opportunity it is to go to the Emmys, saying: 

I do like it when you can tell that the people that are up there know each other so well they can relax a little bit, and not necessarily roast each other, but just acknowledge ‘this is crazy, we are all just so lucky to be here.’

Of course, with the Will Smith incident so fresh in people's minds, it's hard not to consider whether a zinger or two should be dropped. When the comedian was specifically asked about the infamous “slap,” and the plethora of potential jokes that can be mined from it, Patton Oswalt suggested that maybe it’s best to move on:

I don’t know, because I know everyone involved in the slap. I feel really weird saying anything about it. Look–as a comedian comedy always has to roll forward, one way or another. So, just move forward.

In all honesty, rehashing such an awkward moment may not be the best course of action for the Emmys, and it's worth mentioning that humor can be derived from a number of other sources. I’m sure Kenan Thompson, the host of this year’s Emmys, will definitely be tactful in how he approaches this year's ceremony. Hosting an award show can be difficult, but Thompson is a pro when it comes to live television because of his experience on Saturday Night Live. Surely he knows what works and doesn't work from a comedic standpoint.

It's likely that there will be a lot of great moments to look forward to at this year's show. Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis and Barry’s Bill Hader both received 2022 Emmy nominations for their respective comedy shows, so there will hopefully be a cute reunion between the SNL alums. Also, the tight-knit Abbott Elementary and Succession casts always bring the fun when they're all together. We could even get the Zendaya and Sydney Sweeney Euphoria reunion so many have been begging for. All in all, it should be a great show. 

As for the “slap,” the Oscars has seemingly confronted it head on. According to Chris Rock, the Academy asked him to host the 2023 ceremony, which the comic declined.  The Academy also barred Will Smith for 10 years from future ceremonies. It's fair to say that the televised moment will remain on folks minds for years to come, and it'lll be interesting to see whether the show heeds Patton Oswalt's advice.

The 2022 Primetime Emmys air tonight, September 12th, and you can watch it at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET on NBC. The telecast will also be available to stream using a Peacock subscription. Also, check out our 2022 television premiere schedule to see what’s worth binging ahead of next year's ceremony.

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.