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'SNL' pokes fun at — what else? — Will Smith Oscars slap

The moment between Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars was a common theme throughout last night's episode of "Saturday Night Live."
"SNL" host Jerrod Carmicheal starred in a skit addressing the slap, and also discussed it in his opening monologue. 
"SNL" host Jerrod Carmicheal starred in a skit addressing the slap, and also discussed it in his opening monologue. 'SNL'/NBC

After three weeks off, “Saturday Night Live” returned last night with a new episode that had one common theme throughout the show: the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.

During one sketch called “Seat Fillers,” host Jerrod Carmichael played the role of a seat filler (volunteers who sit in an empty seat during an event) who is sat behind Will Smith, played in the skit by Chris Redd. At first, Carmichael is thrilled to be sat near the “King Richard” actor, telling him that he loves all of his movies, his ringtone is still “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It" and that the actor is his hero. 

“This is the coolest night of my life,” Carmichael says. “I mean, I’m talking to Will Smith, Chris Rock just got up on stage. Hey, can I get a selfie real quick?”

Redd obliges, but while Carmichael is pulling out his phone, in the background the audience can hear the joke that Rock made about Jada Pinkett Smith during the Oscars telecast. Redd excuses himself and tells Carmichael that he’ll be right back before he goes off-screen. Seconds later, the sound of a slap echoes in the studio while Carmichael’s face turns from amused to alarmed. 

When Redd returns to his seat, he appears unbothered and jumps back into conversation with Carmichael. Redd proceeds to crack a joke about their outfits for the evening and began to laugh, shifting his tone immediately when he looked back to the stage and yelled the infamous line Smith said to Rock in the uncensored versions of the broadcast, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f---ing mouth!”

He returns back to the conversation almost immediately as if nothing happened before diving into a rant about how much he loved the movie “Paddington 2." However, that moment didn’t last long before he yelled the same line at the stage once again. 

His tone shifts again when he offers to finally take the selfie with Carmichael, who declines, awkwardly making the excuse that he “deleted (his) phone.” Redd drops the topic and focuses his attention back on the stage, but the moment is soon spoiled by Kyle Mooney, playing a second seat filler who had just returned from the bathroom and missed the onstage drama.

Mooney and Carmichael play two seat fillers stunned by the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock.
Mooney and Carmichael play two seat fillers stunned by the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock.'SNL'/NBC

“The bathroom line is crazy, what did I miss?” Mooney asks while Carmichael vigorously shakes his head. “Oh my god, we’re right next to Will Smith! I gotta tweet this. Whoa, and he’s trending?”

As Mooney looks at his phone, his expression changes as he mutters “Oh my god” to himself. When Redd turns around to Mooney to introduce himself and asks him his name, Mooney nervously replies, “I don’t … they didn’t give me one.”

“Oh, that’s weird,” Redd says before turning his attention back to the stage and laughing hysterically, adding, “Amy Schumer is being hilarious, right? Hey, who is your favorite comedian?”

Carmichael starts to say “Chris Rock,” but stops himself and says, “No one, I don’t think anything is funny.”

After that interaction, things get weird again for the group when Redd’s tone shifts once more and he yells out, “Richard Williams was a fierce protector of his family,” a line that mimicked Smith’s actual acceptance speech at the Oscars.

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He tells the two men that he’s going to say that in his speech, but asks out loud what else he should say. Mooney quietly suggests, “Love makes you do crazy things,” another line from the actor’s speech from last Sunday night.

The sketch ends with another hilarious moment from Redd when Carmichael’s phone goes off and begins to play Smith’s 1997 hit “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It." Redd immediately jumps out of his seat and begins dancing to the tune.

The tense moment at the Oscars was referenced in multiple sketches throughout the episode, including the “Fox and Friends” cold open when James Austin Johnson, parodying Donald Trump, said, “I did see slap, I enjoyed slap.” 

Carmichael started his monologue by saying he was not going to talk about the moment before proceeding to vaguely reference the incident through a majority of his monologue.

The infamous moment was also a topic of conversation during the "Weekend Update," taking up nearly three minutes of discussion at the start of the segment. Later in the segment, Kenan Thompson as O.J. Simpson appeared at the desk alongside Michael Che to discuss his thoughts on the incident and share his opinion on which side he was on.

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