'SNL' Weekend Update Had a Lot to Say About the Will Smith Oscars Slap
3rd April 2022

Following a three-week hiatus, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update spent the majority of its segment focused on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, the biggest story of the week and, as Colin Jost said, “one of the craziest things we’ll see in our lives.”

Weekend Update pretended to be all newsy by opening up with a story about Vladimir Putin, but it only served as a segue for three minutes of Smith jokes.

“Intelligence officials are saying that Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing in Ukraine,” Colin Jost said. “Which is kind of like Will Smith’s agent saying ‘You crushed it the Oscars.’”

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Jost, married to Scarlett Johansson, personally added of The Slap, “I think [it] was a disgraceful act that sets a terrible precedent about having to defend your wife at award shows.”

“During his acceptance speech, Will Smith said, ‘Love will make you do crazy things,’” Michael Che said. “You know what else would make you do crazy things? Crazy. But I understand where Will’s coming from, you can’t expect him to sit there and watch another man jump all over his wife… without signing an NDA.”

After talking about Smith’s resignation from the Academy (“He wasn’t going to, but then Jada gave him that look,” Jost quipped), both co-anchors delivered mini-monologues about the infamous moment, which Jost likened to “the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction but if Janet’s nipple slapped Timberlake.”

Che defended fellow comedian Rock, asking that “we stop pretending everybody knew Jada had alopecia.” “As much as we’ve heard about Jada and Will’s personal lives, you can’t expect us to retain everything,” Che said. “It’s like Kanye saying, ‘Don’t act like y’all didn’t know I had cirrhosis.” 

Jost then criticized the Academy Awards producers for allowing Smith to remain in the audience after the slap, and putting the onus on Rock whether Smith got kicked out. “So now we just ask the victim after they get hit in the head? ‘Hey, you cool if the guy who attacked you hangs around a while? You don’t want to make him mad again,’” Jost said. “I can’t believe the Academy has a worse concussion protocol than the NFL.”

Weekend Update then circled back to the non-slap news, tackling Lindsey Graham declining to support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Madison Cawthorn’s claims of drug-filled congressional orgies and one last Putin joke.

“U.S. officials are concerned that Vladimir Putin is keeping military units positioned near Kyiv despite earlier promises to withdraw,” Che said. “Putin’s failure to pull out has earned him the nickname ‘Nick Cannon.’”

SNL also mocked The Slap during the cold open, in host Jerrod Carmichael’s opening monologue, and with its own sketch where Chris Redd portrayed the King Richard actor.

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