Kicking off his comedy tour at the Wilbur in Boston, Rock walked out to two boisterous standing ovations that lasted for several minutes, according to CNN. He then asked the crowd, “How was your weekend?” which was greeted with laughter, as heard in audio from the show that was shared on social media.
Rock went on to speak briefly about “what happened” but did not directly mention the Oscars ceremony, the Academy or Smith.
“I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend, and I’m still kind of processing what happened,” Rock said. “So at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it’ll be serious, and it’ll be funny.”
He continued, “I’m going to tell some jokes. It’s nice to just be out.”
This marks the start of Rock’s Ego Death World Tour, which runs through the fall. Ticket sales for his live comedy shows have soared since Sunday’s ceremony.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” the Men in Black star wrote in an Instagram post Monday.
The shocking moment at the Oscars ceremony Sunday came after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, before presenting the award for best documentary feature. Rock suggested Pinkett Smith was getting ready to film a sequel to G.I. Jane — which was seemingly a reference to the actress’ shaved head. (Pinkett Smith has been open about her hair loss due to alopecia.)
Smith took the stage and slapped Rock. Returning to his seat, he yelled at Rock: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”
Later in the show, while accepting the Oscar for best actor for his role in King Richard, in which he plays Richard Williams, father to tennis legends Venus and Serena, Smith apologized to the Academy and fellow nominees, but not to Rock. However, Monday’s post on Instagram did include an apology to the comedian.
“Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he wrote. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”
Earlier Monday, the Academy condemned Smith’s actions, launched a full formal review into the matter and scheduled a meeting of the full Academy’s Board of Governors for Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Academy stated that “disciplinary proceedings” against Smith had begun, which could lead to “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.” In this latest statement, the Academy also said, “Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, [but] we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”