Last night while the world was watching the 88th Annual Academy Awards, we had our eye on what comedians thought of the ceremony and Chris Rock’s monologue in particular. The results were almost unanimous- comedians on Twitter loved everything comedians did at the Oscars this year. They loved Leslie Jones’ cameo as a bear in a digital short parodying best picture nominees, they loved Tracy Morgan as the Danish Girl in the same bit, they were overjoyed with the Oscar win for Adam McKay for his original screenplay, The Big Short, and they hated the news scroll and other pop up fun facts.
And most of all, they absolutely loved Chris Rock’s monologue.
Rock skipped the song and dance, and didn’t bother with an opening “number” opting instead for a straight monologue to open the Academy Awards. He joked about Kevin Hart (the porn industry doesn’t make movies as fast and as often as he does), he joked about gender politics (women should be asked about more than their dresses), and he joked about snubs, but mostly his monologue focused on issues of race and the #OscarsSoWhite scandal.
Rock addressed why people are protesting now for the first time– he said because in past years blacks were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won awards. He took a shot at Jada Pinkett Smith’s boycott, pointing out that she wasn’t really invited anyway. Jada boycotting the Oscars, he said, is like me boycotting Rhianna’s panties– I wasn’t invited.
There was a joke about how Oscar will make up for the lack of nominations by showing an in memorium reel of black people being shot by the cops on their way to the movies, and suggested Hollywood isn’t racist in a cross burning way, just a sorority kind of way. “We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a kappa.”
Paul Mooney praised Rock for giving color to a difficult topic, Ellen called the monologue “really incredible,” Amy Schumer said Rock murdered the Oscars, and Chelsea Handler called it “quite possibly the best opening monologue to the Oscars.” Tammy Pescatelli raved, and said Chris Rock just gave a class in stand up comedy, Bonnie McFarlane called it “epic” and Andy Kindler called the monologue amazing from start to finish, (adding a p.s. that Donald Trump is still a fascist). Krystyna Hutchinson called it the most perfect stand up set, and exclaimed “SEE HOW IMPORTANT STAND-UP COMEDY IS, WORLD?!”
Also giving praise were Todd Barry, Rainn Pryor, Jen Kirkman, Jim Norton, W. Kamau Bell, David Alan Grier, Sam Tripoli, Jacqueline Novak, Matteo Lane, Mike Lawrence, Carly Aquillino, Judy Gold, Sarah Benincasa, Mike Shoemaker Brooks Wheelan, Jamie Kennedy, Chris Hardwick, Joel McHale Charlamagne the God, and Iliza Shlesinger among plenty of others. Not everyone was glowing. Amanda Seales seemed maybe a little underwhelmed, Harry Shearer had some constructive criticism, and we think Roseanne Barr was maybe, not impressed or at least she was unhappy with Chris Rock’s lips.
There were some differences of opinions on how the audience reacted. Some felt Rock skewered everyone there and enjoyed their discomfort, others remarked about how well Rock handled difficult issues while still holding the room.
Watch Rock’s full monologue and then scroll down to see some of the tweets.
The in memoriam joke won the night. Chris could stop now. #OscarsSoWhite
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) February 29, 2016
Uh, these white folks bout to give Chris the light. They didn't think he was gonna git n that ass that deep #OscarsSoWhite
— David Alan Grier (@davidalangrier) February 29, 2016
I love @ChrisRock
— Jim Norton (@JimNorton) February 29, 2016
— Andy Kindler (@AndyKindler) February 29, 2016
Love that Chris Rock berated a room full of white people for being racist before they celebrate themselves for three hours #Oscars
— Mike Lawrence (@TheMikeLawrence) February 29, 2016
— Rain Pryor (@RainPryor) February 29, 2016
— ʞɔiwbɿɒH ꙅiɿʜƆ (@hardwick) February 29, 2016
You can't understand how hard it is to do what Chris Rock is doing right now! He's knocking it out of the park in the hardest room ever!👏🏿👏🏿
— RONIN (@samtripoli) February 29, 2016
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) February 29, 2016
— Joel McHale (@joelmchale) February 29, 2016
Chris Rock is a national treasure
— Matteo Lane (@MatteoLane) February 29, 2016
— Tammy Pescatelli (@TammyPescatelli) February 29, 2016
That was a good monologue. I'm a comedian so my opinion is extra-informed. #Oscars
— Todd Barry (@toddbarry) February 29, 2016
IT'S NOT TRACK AND FIELD HAHAHAHAHA
— Jacqueline Novak (@jacquelinenovak) February 29, 2016
That best female/male actress observation was great. Why do they need a female/male category for acting??
That was a straight up Master Class. Chris Rock #oscars2016
— Jamie Kennedy (@JamieKennedy) February 29, 2016
— Iliza Shlesinger (@iliza) February 29, 2016
— Mike Shoemaker (@shoemakermike) February 29, 2016
I’m seeing a lot of “Chris Rock SKEWERED hollywood racism” headlines. I mean, he sautéed it maybe…
— Amanda Seales 🇬🇩 (@amandaseales) February 29, 2016
Script note for C Rock: change "grandmother" to "grandfather".
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) February 29, 2016
— mindy tucker (@withreservation) February 29, 2016