Sometimes there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
All eyes were on Chris Rock on Sunday night when Will Smith charged the stage at the 94th Academy Awards and slapped the comedian in the face after he told a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock responded with the instantly iconic line “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me,” before Smith yelled at him to “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
While the moment was shocking, the timing may have been perfect for Rock. The comedian recently announced that he would spend 2022 embarking on his first live standup tour in five years. The “Ego Death World Tour” includes 38 shows at theaters across America, plus small legs in England, Australia, and New Zealand. Rock will also co-headline several arena shows with Kevin Hart, including performances at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center in New York City. Rock will next perform live this week in Boston, though the Ego Death tour officially kicks off in Atlantic City on April 2.
It appears that the controversial Oscars altercation was great for business, as the ticket resale site TickPick tweeted that “we sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined.” Many have also noted that resale ticket prices for sold-out performances have skyrocketed.
While Rock has generally received praise for his professionalism on Sunday night, ticket buyers are undoubtedly hoping he has more thoughts about Will Smith that he is holding back. After the Oscars, many fans were quick to speculate about how Rock would respond to the incident in his standup act. After Smith confronted him, Rock said “oh, I could…” before smiling and trailing off, then proceeded to introduce the documentary nominees. To many, it looked like he was considering another joke at Smith’s expense before deciding to move on with the show.
Fans who bought tickets will certainly be hoping that joke and many others about Smith make it into Rock’s set. Ironically, the tour will conclude in November with two performances at the Dolby Theatre where the incident took place.
We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined.
— TickPick (@TickPick) March 28, 2022