Where were you when Will Smith punched Chris Rock at the Oscars?
Where were you when Will Smith punched Chris Rock at the Oscars? I would like to say that as a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic, I watched it unfold live. But instead I was in an Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, watching a Tim Heidecker On the cinema in the cinema Special Oscars livestream, which was only marginally about the Oscars.
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Someone kicked me out of almost every Oscar party I attended in the 1990s. Anyone who hosted an Oscar party and made the mistake of inviting me got tired of my endless teasing about the ceremony and its pompous bullshit. For more than 20 years, I watched the Oscars alone, in the dark, wearing my bathrobe and drinking a glass of wine, like a cheap alternate version of Rex Reed.
This year, I thought I would do something different. I am From cinema to cinema on Twitter. It’s an adult swim show, basically about how awful movie reviews are, but it has its own weird semi-violent mythology. I can’t quite get into that kind of stuff, but I love Gregg Turkington’s dumb, disheveled movie critic. The vibe of On Cinema at the Cinema is basically: movies are bullshit. I decided to embrace that nihilistic vibe this year, especially when I saw that they would be livestreaming the stream at an Alamo Drafthouse, and I have an Alamo season pass, so the show would cost me a dollar.
And that’s how I came to watch Tim Heidecker interviewing underage Psycho 2 actor Lee Garlington at the exact moment Will Smith slammed Chris Rock’s shit at the Oscars.
“OMG WTF,” my wife texted.
“What?” I replied by text. They were allowing us to use our phones at the Alamo during this presentation because a) it was full of technical issues and b) had 20 minute breaks between segments. “What’s so funny?”
“You look ?” she texted. “Did Smith and Chris Rock?! They had to mute it! To fight! Will Smith was offended by a joke about his ex and took a swing and cursed him. Don’t think it was scripted. It was…” followed by three squeaky emojis.
Jada is not his “ex”, but they have an open marriage. Anyway, I answered “no”. I was watching a long joke about shit spewing out of a water tap on an unincorporated ranch in San Bernardino Country. Then, during an endless broadcast delay followed by another 20 minute commercial break, I went to Twitter, looked at the footage. Then the host of the evening took the stage and said “something just happened at the Oscars”, and played the clip that now everyone in the world has seen.
Tim Heidecker couldn’t come up with anything quite so ridiculous, and his show this year featured a pre-enactment of the first scene from Tim Burton’s “Wonka” prequel and a guy in a Scooby Doo costume dancing to it. which amounted to a Creed cover band. And for the first time in my life, I found myself wishing I had watched the Oscars live.
On Cinema at the Cinema loses again. And no, Gregg TurkingtonWest Side Story didn’t win 10 Oscars.
Will Smith slammed the shit out of Chris Rock. Movies are crap. It was the best of the Oscars, it was the worst of the Oscars. I have no opinion to give on what happened, I just have my mouth wide open like everyone else. Next year I’ll be staring alone again in the dark with a glass of wine. You can’t beat the Oscars for a fool.