‘Harder’ Will Smith jokes were cut from Oscars, producer reveals

The Oscars featured plenty of gags around the infamous Will Smith and Chris Rock ‘slapgate’ of last year.

However, producers have revealed there were plenty of “harder” jokes at the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s expense that never made it to air.

Molly McNearney, one of the event’s producers who also happens to be the wife of host Jimmy Kimmel, revealed why they decided to scrap many of them.

READ MORE: Oscar winner slams ceremony for missing father in tribute

“We didn’t want to make this year all about last year,” McNearney told Variety.

“I cannot tell you how many Will Smith jokes we had that then we got rid of. We think that only the best for that room made it.

READ MORE: Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel reignites ‘feud’ with Matt Damon

“There were certainly some that went harder, but we didn’t think that was our place to do that. That should be Chris Rock, not us.”

In fact Rock did just that – breaking his silence about the incident with a string of stinging barbs on stage during his Netflix comedy special earlier this month, keeping the violent outburst fresh in everyone’s minds.

McNearney said producers still wanted to reference the slap as it still felt recent to many.

“But we really liked the idea of making fun of the reaction to it last year,” she said.

“I think we’re all still in a bit of shock of how that went down and how after watching that violence everyone had to then sit through an acceptance speech.”

In the post-show interview, McNearney also responded to rumours her husband had already been asked to return as host next year.

“There is whispering about that,” the Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer and executive producer said.

“We’d like to take a vacation first and then come back. Jimmy has gotten such positive feedback from the network and from the Academy and from Billy Crystal, who texted him.

“He’s capable of doing it as long as he wants to. I just don’t know if we have enough electrolytes and coffee.”

This year’s hosting gig marked Kimmel’s third time in the hot seat.

It’s a gig McNearney labelled “a gruelling, hard job” and explained her husband is a perfectionist about it.

“Jimmy fixates like you wouldn’t believe on every single joke, on every moment,” she told the industry publication.

“Rounds and rounds and rounds of jokes, rewriting that monologue multiple times, he has several stress dreams. He wakes up in the middle of the night and thinks the prompter went out.”

And in fact, on the night his nightmares came true with the teleprompter going down briefly during the show.

But the nightly live TV presenter took it all in his stride, making a joke when introducing the editing categories.

“Anyone who’s ever received a text message from their father knows how important editing is,” Kimmel quipped off the cuff during the ceremony.

The couple celebrated the successful show – which had a three-year ratings spike and was watched by more than 18.7 million people in the US alone – by letting their hair down at the Vanity Fair afterparty.

McNearney, who wore a dusty pink gown for the event, planted a kiss on Kimmel’s cheek as they posed for photos.

For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *