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Chris Rock tells Phoenix crowd he turned down opportunity to host Oscars again

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ABC

Following his infamous Oscar night slap at the hands of Will Smith, Chris Rock told the crowd during his show at the Arizona Financial Theatre in downtown Phoenix on Sunday night that he was asked to host next year’s award ceremony, but refused.

According to AZCentral, the 57-year-old comedian joked that returning to the Oscars would be like returning to the scene of a crime, referencing the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, whose ex-wife’s killing began with her leaving a pair of eyeglasses at an Italian restaurant.

Rock compared returning to the award ceremony to asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant.”

When Rock brought up the slap, wondering how a person could get famous for being a victim, someone in the crowd shouted, “Talk about it.”

The Saturday Night Live alum said the slap hurt him; in the past, he’d mentioned it took some time for his hearing to return to his left ear.

Noting that Smith had played the boxer Muhammad Ali in a movie, Rock quipped Sunday night, “He’s bigger than me. The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”

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