Saturday, April 20, 2024

Chris Rock, Netflix Coming for “SNL,” Will Smith Tonight in Overlapping Historic Live Comedy Show


A year ago, give or take, Chris Rock wound up in one of the two or three biggest Oscar moments when Will Smith charged up out of his seat on live TV and slapped him, hard. It was a hit, followed by Smith cursing him out after returning to his table.

The result was Smith being banned from the Oscars for 10 years, and having his career seriously wounded.

Tonight, Chris Rock gets his revenge with the first ever live comedy special on Netflix. Rock will be performing from Baltimore at 10pm for anywhere between 90 minutes and two hours. Netflix is wrapping the comedy show with a live lead-in show. But it’s the after show that’s most interesting. Following Rock’s Baltimore blast, Netflix will offer a live wrap up with former “Saturday Night Live” stars Dana Carvey and David Spade, who have a new podcast series.

Netflix is taking on “SNL” for the first time. The 48 year old sketch show has a new episode on NBC tonight at 11:30pm. The unlikely host is NFL player Travis Kelce with musical guest Kelsey Ballerini. Either NBC didn’t see the Rock Netflix show coming, or did and figured they’d just concede the ratings this week. But I’ll be surprised if “SNL” doesn’t dip below 4 million tonight. Advantage: Rock.

And PS a small but notable irony not lost on anyone: Chris Rock spent three seasons starting out at “SNL” from 1990-93.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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