Joe Rogan Gives His Two Cents On The Will Smith Oscars Slap

Out of everything to come out of "SlapGate 2022," the question of comedy's boundaries has been in the foreground. Did Chris Rock's joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's buzzed head – a hairstyle she's had since being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease alopecia – justify Will Smith slapping Rock in the face and profanely shouting at the comedian on live television? 

Reactions to the incident have certainly ranged across the spectrum. Some suggested that the comedian had it coming, given Pinkett Smith's public struggle with alopecia. As one Twitter user quipped, "Chris Rock chose to make fun of the nearest black woman's medical condition because he's not funny and defaults to belittling black women as easy humor." (A friend of Rock's told TMZ that the comic was clueless about Pinkett Smith's alopecia.)

Others, however, found it unacceptable to respond to any joke by a comedian with violence. On an episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," host Stephen Colbert said, "It's never okay to punch a comedian." He then jokingly added that, in lieu of slapping Rock, Smith could have chosen to "challenge Chris to a duel." (His follow-up was that, worst-case scenario, "if you really want to hurt a comedian, don't laugh.") Others like podcaster and former "X-Factor" host Joe Rogan, however, are apparently worried about the state of comedy. And Rogan is particularly, seemingly worked up over the incident.

Joe Rogan expressed dismay over the slap

Following Will Smith's now-infamous Oscars slap, Joe Rogan took to the podwaves to express his worry that Smith's assault on Chris Rock signals open season on stand-up comics. "It sets a terrible precedent for comedy clubs. Like, are people going to decide to go on stage and smack a comedian now," Rogan said on an episode of his show "The Joe Rogan Experience" (via the Daily Mail). 

Concerned about the normalization of violence as a response to stand-up routines, Rogan mused, "What is it saying as a society that the people that we look up to ... and the Academy Awards are supposed to be them in their most regal outfits, their best behavior. And to drop down to violence for something so innocuous as a 'G.I. Jane' joke." Rogan was also baffled that Smith was allowed to stay and accept his best actor award "after he assaulted a small comedian on stage."