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The show’s guest host standup comedian Jerrod Carmichael opened his monologue deadpanning, “I’m not going to talk about it.”
“I want to be clear up top, I talked about it enough,” he continued to laughs from the audience. He said he was tired of talking about it and thinking about it, “and you can’t make me talk about it!”
He mused that it was amazing the incident only happened six days ago. “Like doesn’t it feel like it happened when we were all in high school? … It feels like we’ve been living in the wake of it our entire lives.”
Carmichael said on Monday people couldn’t get him to “shut up” about the slap, which he only ever referred to as “it” and by Friday he promised himself that he would never talk about it again.
“And then [‘SNL’ creator and executive producer] Lorne [Michaels] came into my dressing room. He was like ‘I think you need to talk about it.’ He said the ‘nation needs to heal.’”
The comedian then joked that he couldn’t possibly heal the nation because the nation doesn’t know who he is, calling himself “the least famous host in ‘SNL’ history.”
At the end of his monologue, Carmichael threw the “nation needs to heal” baton to former President Obama, telling him through the camera, “we need you back because I think you’re going to have to talk about it. The nation needs to heal.”
Earlier, in the cold open, cast member James Austin Johnson, doing his impeccable impression of former President Trump, and repeatedly calling Smith “Hitch” referring to his 2005 movie, said, “I did see the slap. I enjoyed slap. I was very impressed with the slap.”
Later in the show, Carmichael played a seat filler sitting behind Smith (cast member Chris Redd) at the Oscars in a sketch. Carmichael’s character was at first excited to see Smith sitting in front of him and asked him for a selfie.
As audio of Rock’s joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith can be heard in the sketch, Redd as Smith laughs, then tells Carmichael, “Hey, I’ll be right back.”
Audio of a loud slap is heard and Smith sits back down like nothing happened while Carmichael looks horrified. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—–g mouth!” Redd’s Smith shouts before declaring nonchalantly to Carmichael, “I love the Oscars, man,” and continuing to make small talk. He then screams the profanity again and a clearly afraid Carmichael tries to politely get out of taking the aforementioned selfie.
After Smith asks, Carmichael almost says his favorite comedian is Rock, quickly correcting to say, “I don’t think anything’s funny.”
The sketch ends with the fake Smith declaring, “Everything is normal, y’all!” while dancing to his ‘90s hit “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.”
Lastly, the show brought in cast member Kenan Thompson as O.J. Simpson on its “Weekend Update” news segment.
The longtime cast member as Simpson said he didn’t want to accuse Smith of having rage issues, “but if the glove fits.”
“Love will make you do crazy things – allegedly,” Thompson added, quoting Smith’s Oscar acceptance speech where he apologized to the Academy for hitting Rock, claiming he was defending his wife.
The fake Simpson finally said he wanted to make a “big confession that’s been a long time coming” before revealing his revelation was that he didn’t watch the Oscars last weekend.
In real life, Smith walked onto the Oscars stage during the ceremony last Sunday after presenter Chris Rock made an offhanded joke about Smith’s wife, saying, “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” referring to her shaved head. Jada Pinkett-Smith has alopecia. Smith slapped Rock across the face and went back to his seat, shouting twice for the comedian to “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—–g mouth!” Less than an hour later he won his first Oscar for his role in “King Richard.”