Jerry Seinfeld says Chris Rock was too ‘shook’ to recreate Will Smith Oscars slap in Unfrosted

Jerry Seinfeld has revealed that he asked Chris Rock to parody the infamous 2022 Oscars slap in his directorial debut, Unfrosted.

Last week, Seinfeld, 70, released his critically panned comedy, loosely based on the creation of the Pop Tart, in which he stars alongside Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer, Max Greenfield, Christian Slater and Bill Burr.

Speaking about the film on a recent episode of the Fly on the Wall podcast, Seinfeld shared an original scene he wanted to include.

“The other thing I wanted to do that I almost did was Chris Rock was going to be the emcee of the Bowl & Spoon Awards – and we shot that right after the Will Smith slap,” the Seinfeld alum explained. “I was going to have somebody come up on the stage and have Chris punch ’em out as they got there.”

Rock declined, however, as Seinfeld said that “he was a little shook from that event”. That event, of course, was the 94th Academy Awards, where Smith strode on stage and slapped Rock across the face for a joke he made about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Instead, the movie features Cedric the Entertainer as the Bowl & Spoon Awards show host Stu Smiley. The fictional awards show that recognises the best in breakfast goes on without a hitch.

“That was what that scene was going to be, but Cedric saved the day. I love Cedric,” Seinfeld said.

Jerry Seinfeld in ‘Unfrosted’ and Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at 2022 Oscars (Netflix/Getty Images)
Jerry Seinfeld in ‘Unfrosted’ and Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at 2022 Oscars (Netflix/Getty Images)

Asked by Seinfeld if a parody of the Oscars slap would have been funny, Fly on the Wall co-host Dana Carvey opined that it likely would have been “without the Will Smith thing”.

Yet, because the Oscars slap happened, “there’s still kind of a residual darkness around that moment”, Carvey said.

“Isn’t that we’re attracted to more than anything, residual darkness?” Seinfeld responded. “I don’t know if it would have worked. It was an idea.”

Unfrosted, which is out on Netflix, is said to be the streamer’s least-watched No 1 film so far this year.

According to data, the movie has amassed 7.1 million views between 29 April and 5 May. This is significantly low in comparison to the 21.1 million average that Netflix’s No 1 films typically receive in their first week on the streaming platform.

Critics have slammed the film as being “one of the decade’s worst”.

Barry Hertz of The Daily Globe and Mail called the film “a distressingly laugh-free affair” and likened it to a “long-lost Lorne Michaels-produced SNL feature from the ’90s” with “jokes so hacky that Kenny Bania wouldn’t touch ’em, and the pacing so slow it rivals Elaine’s experience enduring The English Patient”.