Dave Chappelle on Chris Rock Oscars Slap, Says He Wasn't Offended Until He Asked Him If It Hurt

The comedian discussed the infamous moment in his new Netflix special 'The Dreamer.'

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Two years after teaming with Netflix for 2021's The Closer, Dave Chappelle is closing out 2023 with his latest stand-up special The Dreamer.

Released via Netflix on New Year's Eve, Chappelle's latest special features the comedian reflecting on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars in 2022.

"Chris got slapped in the face at the Oscars…by Will Smith which was one of the craziest things I have ever seen," Chappelle said. "In fact, if you watch it live on television like I did, when it happened, I thought it was fake. I did, and I wasn’t sure."

Chappelle further detailed how and when he reached out to Rock following the infamous moment.

"I waited 30, 40 minutes, as long as it’ll take him to get to another party," he explained. "And I called him on FaceTime and he picked up. Soon as he picked up, he said, ‘Yous the only n***a I’d answer the phone for.’ Apparently Obama and Oprah, everybody called this n***a to see if everything’s all right."

Chappelle continued, "And I thought it was fake. I didn’t know. So I asked. I go, ‘Well, you know.’ He said, ‘What?’ I said ‘Did it hurt?’ He said, ‘Yes, n***a, it hurt.’ And then I knew it was real. And then, and only then, was I offended."

‌The 50-year-old clarified that he "wasn't offended" about the slap as much as Will Smith's behavior following the attack.

"The real offensive part was after he slapped him, Will just sat down and enjoyed the rest of his evening. It was crazy. What the fuck is this?" Chappelle said.

Chappelle subsequently gives Rock his flowers for refusing to be the victim, which the former witnessed when Chris performed in Baltimore for his 2023 Netflix special Selective Outrage.

“Chris was so hard in the paint and I can’t believe he did this," he recalled. "He shocked a Baltimore crowd. He looked at the crowd–I didn’t expect him to say this. He looked the crowd. All Blacks. Balitmore Blacks…He went to that crowd and said, ‘I refuse to be a victim.’"

He also recalled the time he was attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in 2022, detailing the incidient and the man who came after him again. He used the moment to make another joke about Rock and Smith.

“For three months before that, I had been making fun of Chris Rock. And people would ask me all the time. They say, ‘Dave what would you do if you were Chris Rock and Will Smith slapped you in the face?'" he said. "And to this day, the answer is the same. ‘I don’t know what I would have done.' I’ve never been in a situation that extreme. But I do know now what Will Smith would not have done. And that is, enjoy the rest of his evening.”

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