Weeks after it aired, people are still weighing in about Chris Rock’s Netflix comedy special, which fired back at actor/rapper Will Smith and “the slap heard around the world.”
Nate Bargatze who returns to the Charleston Coliseum Saturday night, had his thoughts about it, too.
“I thought he did it like a true pro,” the comedian said. “I mean, what are you supposed to do in that situation?”
Nearly a year ago, the then-Academy Award nominee left his seat in the audience and approached Rock on stage as he presented an award.
Smith was angry over comments Rock had made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Among a roomful of his professional peers and in front of a stunned international television audience, Smith slapped the comedian — hard.
Later that evening, Smith won the “Best Actor” award for “King Richard.” In his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and to the other nominees, but not to Rock.
Condemnation of Smith was loud and widespread, but not universal.
In the morning, on April 1, the actor apologized to Rock on social media and resigned from the academy.
Rock, for his part, was largely quiet about that night — until the special, where he unloaded on the Smiths.
Bargatze cheered for Rock.
“I thought he handled it terrifically. It was awesome, and such a professional way to handle something like that,” he said.
The special wasn’t so good for Smith, of course. Rock shrewdly emasculated the A-list actor in front of millions of viewers, but when “The Nicest Man in Stand-Up Comedy” thinks you deserve that kind of public drubbing, you probably still have a long way to go in repairing your image.
But Bargatze has his biases, though. He’s opened for Rock.
“And I’m a fan,” Bargatze added.
Not that the Tennessee native is coming to Charleston with the intention of spending much (or any) time talking about other comedians.