Editorial: Talk about my wife, and I’ll slap the funny out of you

Published 9:07 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

Way to go, Chris Rock.

Way to go, Will Smith.

I admire you both.

For those of you who haven’t heard the story of all stories, here comes a brief synopsis.

On Sunday night, there was a televised awards show. It was in a big city, like always. It featured the rich and famous, like always. People looked good, like always. They walked on red carpets, like always. Common folks like us oohed and ahhed, like always.

It was the Oscars.

I’m not sure who Oscar is, or how an award was named after him, it doesn’t really matter. But this Oscar is a big deal, just ask him. Everybody wants to take him home. Everybody wants to party with him. This Oscar is every woman’s dream and every man’s mission. At least on this awards show, he is.

Well, a bunch of movie stars (Think Hollywood, you know, swimming pools …) get together at a fancy theater (They called it The Dolby, so you know that the sound was great. We’ll get to that a little later.) to ooh and ahh over each other and to be oohed and ahhed upon by folks like us at home, lounging on our couches in our PJs, eating popcorn in between brief naps, secretly wishing in our minds that we were those movie stars, secretly thinking about how humble we would be if it were us on that stage receiving that Oscar award.

Apparently (I say apparently, because like most people, I wasn’t watching the Oscars on Sunday night.), this show featured some pretty spectacular awards and entertainment (I looked them up on the internet, so I know what I’m talking about here.). Beyonce sang with a chorus of 2,000 angels. Billie Eilish sang with a chorus of 2,000 violins (fancy fiddles). Reba McEntire sang with a chorus of regret (Who booked me for this?).

The hosts (Don’t say hostesses, you sexist bigot.) were Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall. They were supposed to be funny. Actually, they were funny (At least the few clips I saw on the internet made me chuckle.). They also – like always – used the platform to espouse their political and social beliefs. So what, we’re smart enough to believe in what we want to believe in, not in some misguided Hollywood (There comes that nasty taste, again.) star, right?

Well, somewhere into this delightful awards show, Chris Rock shows up. (I think he was supposed to hand an Oscar to someone or something, I forgot to look that up.). He’s hosted the show before. He’s made fun of people (Heck, he makes fun of everyone.). He even made fun of Oscar. Oscar’s friends didn’t like that, and it was quite a while before Chris Rock got invited back to the big, fancy party.

But here he was again, gracing that Dolby stage, making fun of everyone and everything in sight. That’s what he does.

He looks at Jada Pinkett Smith, and tells her he loves her (Get your mind out of the gutter, there’s more than one kind of love, you pervert.). He then says something along the line of asking when she will star in the new GI Jane movie (There is no upcoming new GI Jane movie, he made that up. Comedians do that.) The laughter from the audience was somewhat sparse, sort of like a few crickets scratching their legs together. Even Will Smith (That’s Jada Pinkett Smith’s husband.) was laughing, or at least politely pretending to laugh.

Then Will Smith looked over at his wife. She wasn’t laughing. She was obviously upset. She suffers from a medical condition that is causing her hair to come out, so she shaves her head (Re: GI Jane joke.) Being the good husband that he is, Will Smith promptly walks onto the stage and slaps the (I can’t use the word here, this is a family newspaper.) you know what out of Chris Rock. Then he goes back to his seat and shouts some other words that were much worse than the one above, letting Chris Rock know that his wife is not to be a subject of jokes (I told you we would get back to the great sound at The Dolby. You could hear every word as plain as day).

Chris Rock was just doing what he had been doing, what he has been doing for decades, making fun of people. It’s what comedians do.

Will Smith was just doing what husbands have been doing since the beginning of husbandry, taking up for their wives.

Was anybody wrong here?

– Mike Barnhardt