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Chris Rock appeared to be in good spirits as he prepared for his stand-up show days after Will Smith slapped him at the Oscars.
On Wednesday night, the 57-year-old kicked off a comedy tour at The Wilbur in Boston. The venue’s owner, Bill Blumenreich, said the star was “in a great mood” as he rehearsed.
“What happened [at the Oscars], he handled it so well,” Blumenreich told People magazine. “He took the high road.”
Blumenreich told the outlet that Rock was “all business” from the time he arrived.
“It’s a big, big tour, over 100 shows, and he’s taking it very seriously. He’s probably the funniest guy I’ve ever met,” said Blumenreich. “We were talking last night, he was saying, ‘How long have I known you?’ Since he started on ‘SNL!’ I’ve been working with him since 1991.”
“He’s one of the nicest, funniest people you could ever meet in your life,” Blumenreich added.
Rock received a thunderous three-minute standing ovation at his first stand-up show since the altercation.
“Let me do a show, y’all!” Rock yelled at the beginning of his set. “Y’all got me all misty and s—“
“How was your weekend?” Rock asked the sold-out crowd at the Wilbur, a theater of 1,200 seats in Boston. “I had a whole list of jokes. I had a whole show I wrote before this weekend, and I’m still kind of processing what happened.”
“At some point, I’ll talk about that s—, and it will be serious, and it will be funny,” Rock continued.
Audience members yelled, “F— Will Smith!” during Rock’s opening statements.
After his initial comments, Rock continued with his planned show.
Since the shocking incident at the Oscars, sales for “Chris Rock Ego Death World Tour 2022” have skyrocketed, soaring to over $1,000 per ticket. Meanwhile, the sold-out shows saw tickets reselling for more than $800.
Wednesday night marked the first time Rock spoke publicly on the issue.
Tensions escalated on Sunday during the Oscars when Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved hairstyle ahead of introducing the best documentary nominees.
Pinkett Smith, 50, revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with alopecia. She has often discussed the challenges of hair loss on Instagram and other social media platforms.
The joke missed, badly.
Her husband, 53, walked onto the stage from his front-row seat and took a swing at Rock, 57, with an open palm, generating a loud smack. Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a “G.I. Jane” joke – and Smith yelled back at him a second time.
Smith shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f—-ing mouth,” and the crowd hushed as it became clear this was no act.
Following the altercation, spokespeople for Smith, Pinkett Smith and Rock didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
On Monday, Smith issued an apology on Instagram, saying he was “out of line” and that his actions “are not indicative of the man I want to be.”
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” wrote Smith. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
The star added apologies to the Academy, producers of the telecast, attendees, viewers and the Williams family. Smith was honored Sunday for his role as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams.
“I am a work in progress,” added Smith.
The Academy has since claimed they attempted to remove Smith from the show, but he refused. They also started “disciplinary proceedings.”
Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf, Michael Ruiz, as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.