VIDEO: Howard, Robin, and Nikki Glaser Talk Oscars Controversy

“[Will Smith] ruined his own moment,” the comedian says during a call in

March 28, 2022

Howard and co-host Robin Quiver had plenty to say about the controversy at Sunday night’s Oscars and the shocking slap heard around the world. For those who didn’t watch, an evening meant to celebrate 2021’s best films devolved into a fiasco after eventual Best Actor winner Will Smith smacked comedy legend Chris Rock on stage, striking him with an open hand while millions of viewers watched on in disbelief. The altercation had occurred shortly after Rock joked about the appearance of Smith’s wife, suggesting the actress and talk-show host Jada Pinkett Smith looked like she was starring in a “G.I. Jane” sequel.

“Where’s security?” Howard wondered on Monday morning. “This is a live television event!”

Comedian and repeat guest Nikki Glaser called into the Stern Show, admitting she was shocked Smith remained in the audience after hitting one of the presenters. In the comedy world, she explained, you can’t even heckle the person on stage without getting kicked out.

Will Smith won the Oscar later that night for his performance in “King Richard.” As Glaser pointed out, the crowd had by that point seemingly forgiven him. “He wins and everyone is a little hesitant at first and kind of shocked, and then by the end of it everyone is tearing [up] and on his side,” she said.

Rock’s joke seemingly took aim at the actress’s baldness, which is the result of alopecia. Nikki believed Chris didn’t know Jada was battling the incurable autoimmune disorder. “I know for a fact it was not a dig against her having alopecia,” she said. “He never would’ve made that joke had he known it was a medical condition that she had,” Glaser said.

Regardless of what Chris knew, neither Robin, Howard, nor Nikki could excuse Smith’s violent response.

“It is bizarre because this guy has been lobbying to win the Academy Award forever and the night he’s going to win — what does he do? — he ruins the moment,” Robin said of Smith.

“He was shook up there,” Glaser agreed. “He was so ashamed. You can tell he was not someone who was excited he won.”

Howard appreciated Nikki’s perspective and thanked her for calling into the show. “I wanted to know what a comedian felt, and you made some really great points,” he said.