Jerrod Carmichael made his hosting debut on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend and used his monologue to address the elephant in the room — the Will Smith/Chris Rock Oscars slap, and the endless social dialog that has erupted from it.
And, to show just how endless the debate and controversy has been, he doesn’t, not once, need to say Smith or Rock’s name.
“I’m not going to talk about it. I want to be clear up top. I talked about it enough. Kept talking about it. Kept thinking about it. I don’t want to talk about it. And you can’t make me talk about it. But, I’ve got a question: Do you want to talk about it? Like aren’t you sick of talking about it? Isn’t it kind of crazy — it feels like we’ve been talking about it for so long,” Carmichael said, immediately after introducing himself.
“This is going to really blow your minds. Can you believe that it’s been six days? Six days! This happened a week ago,” he added, over gales of laughter. “Doesn’t it feel like it happened years ago? Like doesn’t it feel like it happened when we were all in high school? Like it feels like it happened between Jamiroquai and 9/11. A long, long time ago. It happened on Sunday. Sunday! It’s Saturday, bro.”
“On Monday it was exciting. I’m not going to lie. If this were Monday, you wouldn’t be able to get me to shut up about it,” he recalled. “Tuesday, still talking about it. A little less exciting because it stopped being about it on Tuesday. It started being about a lot of proxy arguments…. By Wednesday I wanted to kill myself.”
“But by Friday, by Friday, I made a vow to myself. I promised myself I would never, ever talk about it again,” Carmichael continued. “Then 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.'”
Jerrod Carmichael’s monologue! pic.twitter.com/lJGzY0R9zo
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 3, 2022
Carmichael then addressed the other thing many fans thought when it was first announced that he would be hosting.
“The nation don’t even know me! The nation has no clue who I am,” Carmichael quipped. “The nation has no clue who I am. I have to be the least famous host in “SNL” history. Like, the least.”
Carmichael is hosting this week to promote his new HBO comedy special, “Rothaniel”, in which he publicly came out as gay for the first time. When he addressed his personal news, it elicited a round of applause from the audience, which he said was “an expected response” from New Yorkers.
“It’s actually why I live here. If you say you’re gay in new York, you can ride the bus for free and people just give you pizza,” he said. “Honestly, if you’re gay in New York, you get to host ‘Saturday Night Live’.”
MORE FROM ET: