Chris Rock was ‘in good spirits’ ahead of stand-up show after Oscar slap, comedy club owner says


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Chris Rock appeared to be in good spirits as he prepared for his stand-up show days after Will Smith slapped him at the Oscars.

On Wednesday night, the 57-year-old kicked off a comedy tour at the Wilbur in Boston. Venue owner Bill Blumenreich said the star was “in good spirits” as he rehearsed.

“What happened [at the Oscars]he handled it so well,” Blumenreich told People magazine. “He took the high road.”

Blumenreich told the outlet that Rock has been “all business” since his arrival.

CHRIS ROCK ADDRESSES WILL SMITH SLAP AT FIRST COMEDY SHOW SINCE THE OSCARS

Comedian Chris Rock enters The Wilbur in Boston for the first of two sold-out performances on March 30, 2022.
(Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

“It’s a big, big tour, over 100 shows, and he takes it very seriously. He’s probably the funniest guy I’ve ever met,” Blumenreich said. “We were talking last night, he was like, ‘How long have I known you? Ever since he started on ‘SNL!’ I’ve worked with him since 1991.”

“He’s one of the nicest, funniest people you’ll ever meet in your life,” Blumenreich added.

Rock received a thunderous three-minute standing ovation in his first stand-up since the altercation.

“Let me put on a show, y’all!” Rock screamed at the start of his set. “Y’all got me misty and s—“

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People enter The Wilbur for a sold-out performance of Chris Rock in Boston, Massachusetts on March 30, 2022.

People enter The Wilbur for a sold-out performance of Chris Rock in Boston, Massachusetts on March 30, 2022.
(Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

“How was your week end?” Rock asked the sold-out crowd at the Wilbur, a 1,200-seat theater in Boston. “I had a whole list of jokes. I had written a whole show before this weekend, and I’m still processing what happened.”

“At some point, I’ll talk about this s—, and it’ll be serious, and it’ll be funny,” Rock continued.

Audience members shouted, “F— Will Smith!” during Rock’s opening statements.

After his initial comments, Rock continued with his planned show.

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Stephen Coughlin, 31, shows off his tailored shirt, which draws attention to the incident between Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars, as he waited in line to see Rock perform.

Stephen Coughlin, 31, shows off his tailored shirt, which draws attention to the incident between Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars, as he waited in line to see Rock perform.
(Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

Since the shocking Oscars incident, sales of “Chris Rock Ego Death World Tour 2022” have skyrocketed to over $1,000 per ticket. Meanwhile, sold-out shows saw tickets resell for over $800.

Wednesday night marked the first time Rock spoke publicly on the issue.

Tensions escalated on Sunday at the Oscars when Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved hairstyle before presenting the best documentary nominees.

Pinkett Smith, 50, revealed in 2018 that she had been diagnosed with alopecia. She has often discussed hair loss challenges on Instagram and other social media platforms.

CHRIS ROCK DRAWS BIG CROWDS IN FIRST SHOW SINCE THE OSCARS: ‘CAN’T MISS AN OPPORTUNITY LIKE THIS’, SAYS FAN

The joke missed, badly.

Her husband, 53, took to the stage from his front row seat and swung Rock, 57, with an open palm, generating a loud slap. Smith returned to his seat and yelled at Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a “GI Jane” joke – and Smith yelled at him a second time.

Smith yelled at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth”, and the crowd fell silent when it became clear it wasn’t an act.

Following the altercation, spokespersons for Smith, Pinkett Smith and Rock did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

HOLLYWOOD’S CONTROVERSIAL STARS WERE NOT RUN OUT OF OSCARS, OTHERS WHO REFUSED ACCEPTANCE OF ACADEMY AWARD

Will Smith received his first Oscar for "King Richard."

Will Smith received his first Oscar for ‘King Richard’.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

On Monday, Smith posted an apology on Instagram, saying he was “out of place” and that his actions “are not indicative of the man I want to be.”

“Violence in any form is toxic and destructive,” Smith wrote. “My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of place and wrong. I’m embarrassed and my actions weren’t indicative of the man I want to be. There’s no room for violence in a world of love and kindness.

The star has apologized to the Academy, broadcast producers, participants, viewers and the Williams family. Smith was honored on Sunday for his role as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams.

“I’m a work in progress,” Smith added.

The Academy has since claimed to have tried to remove Smith from the show, but he refused. They have also started “disciplinary proceedings”.

Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf, Michael Ruiz, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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