Arsenio Hall
Arsenio Hall will play a distinguished but hip reverend in Season 1 of ABC’s “The Mayor.” Pictured: Hall arrives at the premiere of “Peeples” at ArcLight Hollywood on May 8, 2013 in Hollywood, California. Getty Images/Jason Merritt


  • Comics praised Chris Rock ahead of his live Netflix special, "Selective Outrage," Saturday
  • Dana Carvey said Rock's show felt "a little bit like a heavyweight fight"
  • David Spade said "everyone" in the comedy world has "big respect" for Rock

Arsenio Hall, Dana Carvey and other comedians praised Chris Rock ahead of his live Netflix special over the weekend.

The 58-year-old comedian returned to the stage for his special, "Selective Outrage," which was streamed live from the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland, Saturday night.

Several of Rock's peers in the comedy world shared their thoughts about the stand-up show, which marked Netflix's first live global streaming event, during interviews with Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet and the live viewing event at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, California.

"This is like the Super Bowl of comedy," Arsenio Hall told ET of Rock's historic live-streaming set.

"Blackish" star Deon Cole echoed Hall's sentiments, telling the outlet, "This is something that has never been done before, and this is something that's gonna change the game for comedy... This is a historic moment."

"It feels, for some reason to me, a little bit like a heavyweight fight," Carvey told the outlet. "If feels anticipatory. It feels exciting."

"There's a magic chemistry about [performing live]," Carvey continued. "I think that the main thing is there's no do-overs... you stumble a word, there's no re-take or edit. And that liveness gives it all this energy, and I think that's why people want to see it."

"He's always been like a cultural phenomenon," "The Daily Show's" Ronny Chieng said.

The comedy legends also expressed support for Rock as he finally addressed the infamous slap by Will Smith at last year's Oscars during his Saturday special.

"You know how athletes stick together against Skip Bayless? That's how comics are," Hall told ET. "No matter what goes down, we support each other. Because if I dog a comic, it's a slippery slope for me... so I support freedom of speech, and anything a comic wants to do. I don't know comics that are haters of other comics, so everybody was supporting Chris."

"Everyone has stood by Chris wholeheartedly," Cole added of the 2022 Oscars moment.

Carvey shared Cole's view that "everybody supports Chris" and said he was happy to see that Rock "emerged stronger" after the incident.

David Spade shared a similar take with ET, saying of Rock, "I think everyone always has pretty big respect for him in the comedy world and knows he's one of the comedy greats."

Rock spoke at length about the Oscars slap in the last 10 minutes of his show, saying: "It still hurts. I got 'Summertime' ringing in my ears. But I'm not a victim, baby. You'll never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying ... I took that hit like [boxer Manny] Pacquiao."

Rock also suggested Smith's response to his Oscars joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head was more about their relationship than him.

The comedian joked that after Pinkett Smith opened up to her husband about her affair with singer August Alsina in 2020, "everybody called that man a b--ch."

"And who does he hit? Me," Rock added.

Rock also explained why he chose not to physically retaliate on stage after the "Aladdin" star hit him.

"Because I've got parents. Because I was raised. And you know what my parents taught me? Don't fight in front of white people," Rock said before throwing his microphone to the ground to end his performance.

Chris Rock was able to keep the glitzy gala on track after being attacked by Will Smith, and went on to present an Oscar moments later
Chris Rock was able to keep the glitzy gala on track after being attacked by Will Smith, and went on to present an Oscar moments later AFP / Robyn Beck