Comedian Jerrod Carmichael was selected as host for Saturday’s episode of “Saturday Night Live,” which put him in a unique position of having to discuss the Will Smith Oscars slap.
The 34-year-old stand-up comedian from North Carolina is also an actor and filmmaker with three successful HBO stand-up comedy specials under his belt, including “Love at the Store,” “8,” and “Rothaniel.”
He also co-created, co-wrote, produced, and starred in the semi-biographical NBC sitcom “The Carmichael Show.” He began his opening “SNL” monologue by saying he’s not going to talk about the Will Smith Oscar slap, before he proceeded to do just that.
Jerrod Carmichael Says It Feels Like We’ve Been Dealing With The Will Smith Oscars Slap ‘Our Entire Lives’
As soon as the applause from the audience died down, Carmichael immediately said, “I’m not going to talk about it” in his over six-minute monologue.
“I want to be clear up top,” he said. “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,” he said. “Do you want to talk about it?” The answer was met with some cheers of “Yes” from the audience. “Like, aren’t you sick of talking about it?” he asked. “Isn’t it kind of crazy… it feels like we’ve been talking about it for so long.”
“I have – this is really going to blow your minds – can you believe it’s been six days,” he said. “Six days. This happened a week ago. 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 somewhere between Jamiroquai and 9/11,” he joked. “Like a long, long time ago. It feels like we’ve been living in the wake of it our entire lives. It happened on Sunday. On Sunday. It’s Saturday, bro.”
Jerrod Carmichael Walks Through The Daily Stages Of Dealing With The Oscars Slap
“On Monday, it was exciting,” he confessed. “If this were Monday, you wouldn’t be able to get me to shut up about it. I was talking about it all Monday.”
“Tuesday, still talking about it,” he admitted. “A little less exciting because it stopped being about it on Tuesday. It started being about a lot of proxy arguments… hair and black men and white people on Twitter. It was just too much by Tuesday.”
“On Wednesday I wanted to kill myself,” Carmichael said as he deadpanned. “I don’t really remember Thursday but by Friday, I made a vow to myself. I promised myself I would never ever talk about it again.”
“Then Lorne came into my dressing room, he was like, ‘I think you need to talk about it.’ He said, ‘The nation needs to heal,’” he continued. “The nation needs to heal. I said, ‘The nation needs to what? You want me to do that? The nation doesn’t even know me.’”
“The nation has no clue who I am,” he admitted. “I have to be the least famous host in ‘SNL’ – like the least.”
“I was so excited to come here,” he said before he was interrupted by a large round of applause. As soon as the clapping died down, he said, “I appreciate that. Just know those claps did nothing for my self-esteem.”
What Did Fans Think Of Jerrod Carmichael’s Opening Monologue?
People may not be as interested in discussing the Will Smith slap as they once were, because the comments were full of nothing but praise for the stand-up comedian.
“He should get the John Goodman and John Mulaney treatment and be asked to host every season as far as I’m concerned,” one fan commented. “He’s brilliant.”
“SNL needs to do more of this,” another fan noted. “It’s nice to see an actual comedian, and one not super famous, hosting the show.”
“Jerrod is dead— hilarious. He needs to come back and host again next season,” said another. “I’m genuinely gonna go watch his special after this.”
“I won’t lie, I had not heard of him before today but he got me crying laughing!” another fan admitted.
“Least famous SNL host? Not anymore!” another wrote. “Perfectly summarized the trajectory of the week post slap!”
Fans can watch his full opening monologue below.