Comedian Chris Rock’s latest comedy special, Selective Outrage, aired live on Netflix last night, but it fell flat with some fans.
Rock’s new routine saw him address the infamous Oscar moment where he got slapped in the face after making a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
However, viewers at home were not quite as happy as the audience in attendance.
Many took to social media to express their disappointment with the special, with one person writing, “I was looking forward to Chris Rock live on Netflix tonight. Unfortunately, he lost what made him funny.”
Others were equally critical, with someone adding, “So from what I understand about the Netflix special, Chris Rock still isn’t funny,” and another person stating, “This Chris Rock stand up is horrible… can’t get into it.”
It wasn’t just viewers who were left feeling unimpressed – a reviewer in the Independent gave it three stars and branded the special ‘uninspired and regurgitative’.
The Hollywood Reporter said, ‘dated material and stagey direction limit the excitement of ‘live-ness’. And USA Today said Rock had become ‘a sad old man yelling at clouds’, adding, “He’s crotchety. He’s mean. He’s predictable and boring.” Ouch.
Rock’s routine tackled subjects such as the infamous Will Smith slap, the Duchess of Sussex, and the Kardashians.
One clip from the show saw him saying, “you never know who might get triggered,” adding, “you know what people say, they say words hurt. Anybody that says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
He also talked about the moment he was slapped by a member of Smith’s entourage, saying, “People are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts! I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears,” with the gag getting laughs and applause from the audience.
Despite the mixed reception, Rock’s special marked a significant moment for Netflix as it was the first time they had aired a live comedy event.
Robbie Praw, Netflix Vice President of Stand-up and Comedy Formats, expressed his excitement about the event, saying, “Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation. We’re thrilled the entire world will be able to experience a live Chris Rock comedy event and be a part of Netflix history. This will be an unforgettable moment, and we’re so honored that Chris is carrying this torch.”