The Best & Worst Jokes From Chris Rock's Oscars Monologue Will Make You Laugh & Think
Hosting the biggest awards ceremony of the year is no easy feat and it's easy to fall flat, so I basically jumped for joy when Chris Rock was announced as the host of the 2016 Oscars. After he hosted the show in 2005, Rock quickly became my favorite Oscar host ever, and I've been waiting impatiently ever since for him to take on hosting duties again. I mean, I'm still quoting some of his jokes from the 2005 monologue, because they're just as hilarious now as they were then. This year, none of us knew exactly what to expect from him — after all, the Academy rightfully received a ton of backlash for the lack of diversity amongst nominees and some people even requested that Rock step down as host in protest. He didn't, but he remained tight-lipped when it came to how he planned to address the diversity problem during the show. As Rock's best and worst jokes at the 2016 Oscars illustrate, he's just as amazing as he was in 2005.
When Rock hit the stage, he didn't hold back on addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in the best way possible. He addressed the reasons he refused to step down as host, but threw in a dose of humor by pointing out he wouldn't have gotten the job if hosts needed to be nominated. Certain moments were a bit shocking, but they needed to be — we should all feel uncomfortable about the lack of diversity at the Oscars and we all need to reflect on it.
“I understand you’re mad. I’m not hating. … Jada’s mad her man Will [Smith] was not nominated for Concussion. I get it … It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West, OK?”
Well, that's fair.
“This year, things are going to be a little different. This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies … yes, I said it!”
As usual, Rock toes the line and this may have made us feel uncomfortable — but we should feel uncomfortable about the lack of diversity at this ceremony.
“Everybody went mad [this year] … Jada [Pinkett Smith] got mad. Jada said she’s not coming. Isn’t she on a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”
Zero punches pulled.
"You want black nominees every year, you need to just have black categories. You already do it with men and women, think about it. There is no real reason for there to be a man and a woman category in acting. It’s not track and field. You don’t have to separate them. You know, Robert de Niro has never said, I’d better slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.'"
Rock addressed racism and sexism in one fell swoop. Preach.
When He Sold Girl Scout Cookies To The Audience
Rock prefaced this bit by explaining that his daughter is lagging in the competition to sell the most Girl Scout cookies. I'm fairly certain that will no longer be the case, because he proceeded to sell boxes of cookies to celebs from Kate Winslet to Julianne Moore to Leo DiCaprio. "Come on, Leo, you made $30 million this year," he pointed out. (No pressure.) I'm fairly certain Rock's daughter officially became the most envied member of her Girl Scout troop. Update: Rock sold $65,243 worth of Girl Scout cookies at the Oscars. Not too shabby.
"Another big thing tonight is, you’re not allowed to ask women what they’re wearing anymore. It’s a whole thing, ‘ask her more.’ You have to ‘ask her more.’ It’s like, you ask the men more. Everything is not sexism."
While I understand Rock's point that Clooney would get questioned about his attire if he showed up in a lime green suit, the "ask her more" movement represents a way bigger issue about the fact that women are objectified and questioned about their appearances rather than the hard work that earned them a spot on the nominee list.
"Of all the girl-on-girl movies I saw this year, Carol was the third best."
Carol is such a powerful film with an important, moving message and it's tacky to essentially compare it to a lesbian porn movie.
All in all, Rock did an amazing job as host. Here's hoping future hosts take notice.
Image: Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle