On Sunday, Chris Rock kicked off the 88th Academy Awards ceremony with one of the most rousing and highly-anticipated monologues ever seen. And as he set the accolade ball rolling with a slew of jokes, he went full-throttle in addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy at the heart of the industry in 2016.
Yet, amidst some of his most hard-hitting words regarding the lack of diversity, the comedian's jovial approach welcomed a barrage of laughs from the audience. Here are some of his very best giggle-inducing and rather politically driven moments:
1. Welcome to the "White People's Choice Awards!"
Taking to the podium, Chris pointed out the elephant in the room straight away, boldly naming the Academy Awards the "White People's Choice Awards." A series of chuckles from the audience ensued.
2. "Of all the girl-on-girl movies I've seen this year, 'Carol' was the third best"
Yep, you can't argue about the fact that Carol was the snub of the ceremony. Yet, although many people came away with a few hard feelings regarding the Academy's decision, Chris didn't steer clear of poking fun at the feature. Thankfully, the dirty joke went down a treat.
3. "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited"
Never a man to step away from a controversial comment, Chris addressed the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith were publicly avoiding the Oscars this year. Later on, he poked fun at the latter once again when he said:
“You get mad that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated [for his role in Concussion]. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20m to do Wild Wild West.”
4. “If they nominated hosts I wouldn’t even get this job so you’d be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now”
Chris then went on to make a direct link to numerous calls for him to resign from the hosting gig, saying:
“‘Chris, you should boycott, you should quit’ – how come it’s always unemployed people that tell you to quit something? I thought about it really hard but they’re not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit, and the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”
A camera then swung over to Hart, revealing him cackling away in his seat:
5. "This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies"
Then, just to push the issue into the spotlight even further, he referred to the onslaught of police brutality permeating the news over the last year. He added:
"If you want black nominees every year, you need to have black categories. You already do it with men and women, think about it!"
Jennifer Lawrence's reaction was as follows:
6. "Jamie Foxx was so good in 'Ray,' that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles. It’s like, 'We don’t need two of these.'”
Turning his praises to actors that he admires, including Paul Giamatti and Leonardo DiCaprio, he referred back to Fox's role in Ray and once again struck down the audience with a cutting line. Brie Larson was like: