Ricky Gervais: I Would Have Told a Different Smith Joke

'I’d have told a joke about her boyfriend'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2022 12:50 PM CDT
Ricky Gervais: I Would Have Told a Different Smith Joke
Ricky Gervais speaking at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.   (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)

(Newser) – Ricky Gervais is, unsurprisingly, not in favor of comedians being slapped because somebody didn't like a joke. Will Smith's slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars was "totally unnecessary," the British comic said during a recent Q&A session on Twitter. "You don’t hit people over a joke, however bad it is. And it wasn’t bad! That was like the tamest joke I would ever have told," said Gervais. He said that at a comedy show the night after the Oscars, he told that crowd that if he had been hosting, "Nothing would happen to me because I wouldn’t have told a joke about his wife’s hair. I’d have told a joke about her boyfriend."

Gervais was referring to what Jada Pinkett Smith calls her "entanglement" with singer August Alsina while she and Smith were separated. Chris Rock's brother Kenny said this week that Rock didn't know Pinkett Smith had alopecia when he joked about her hair, Variety reports. Gervais, however, had some jokes of his own about the condition. "Someone said it was joking about her disability. Well, I’m going a bit thin, so I’m disabled," he said in the Twitter session. "And I’m fat. That’s a disease, isn’t it? I’m fat and balding. I should get f------ benefits."

Gervais skewered many celebrities—and Hollywood in general—during five turns hosting the Golden Globes. Before this year's Academy Awards, he shared what he would have said if he had been hosting. "I’m proud to announce that this is the most diverse and progressive Oscars ever," he said, per Vanity Fair. "Looking out I see people from all walks of life. Every demographic under the sun. Except poor people, obviously. F--- them." (Read more Ricky Gervais stories.)

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