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That Oscars slap might be boosting ticket sales for Chris Rock’s new comedy tour

A man wearing a blue tuxedo jacket onstage while holding a red envelope.
Chris Rock presented at Sunday’s Academy Awards.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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Chris Rock‘s supporters are putting their money where their mouth is and reportedly buying up tickets for his upcoming stand-up tour after his Sunday altercation with Will Smith at the Academy Awards.

That, or they’re hoping the comedian addresses the now-infamous Oscars slap while performing on his Ego Death World Tour 2022. (Because how can he not?)

Ticket sales for Rock’s upcoming performances have increased following his appearance at the Academy Awards, according to secondary ticket seller TickPick.

“We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined,” TickPick tweeted Monday.

Reps for Rock, TickPick and Live Nation, which is producing Ego Death, did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ requests for confirmation.

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The Emmy and Grammy Award winner also got a show of support on Monday from his “Grown Ups” co-star Adam Sandler, who planted himself firmly on Team Chris by plugging Rock’s upcoming Ego Death tour.

“Can’t wait for this. Love you buddy!” tweeted Sandler, who also posted the tour’s promotional image on his Instagram.

The comedian’s decision to make that ‘G.I. Jane’ joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair is baffling. Her husband’s reaction is not.

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The “Fargo” star and former Oscars host kicks off his tour Wednesday at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre and remains there until Friday. All of the Wilbur shows are sold out, and the cheapest tickets were $46 on March 18 — before the Oscars — and then ballooned to $411, according to a tweet from TickPick’s marketing and PR representative.

“As of today, TickPick reports that 51% of its sales for Chris Rock’s tour (which went on sale on 2/24) have come since the Oscars. In terms of sales within the last week, TickPick has had 88% of sales for the tour come through since the Oscars,” a spokesperson for TickPick told The Times Tuesday. The spokesperson also noted that the cheapest tickets are now going for $464 on its platform.

Rock resumes the tour April 2 in Atlantic City, N.J. The veteran comic also will make stops at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in May, Harrah’s Southern California Resort in Funner, Calif., in August and Radio City Music Hall in New York City in October.

He closes the tour at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles — where Sunday’s Oscars took place — on Nov. 17 and 18.

Chris Rock, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have found themselves at odds before. Remember what happened at the 2016 Oscars?

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The shows mark Rock’s return to stand-up after a five-year hiatus. The “Everybody Hates Chris” creator was last on the comedy circuit for his 2017 and 2018 Total Blackout gigs and turned a Brooklyn stop into the “Chris Rock: Tamborine” Netflix special in 2018 and an extended cut in 2021. At the time, that was his first tour in nearly a decade.

Rock has not yet publicly commented on the slap. Backstage at the Oscars, he was overheard saying, “I just got punched in the face by Muhammad Ali and didn’t get a scratch.” (Smith portrayed the boxing champion in a 2001 biopic.)

Everything we know about the infamous moment at the 2022 Oscars, from the history leading up to the onstage shocker to today’s latest developments.

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Meanwhile, a purported statement from Rock making the rounds on social media Monday was debunked as “fake” by his spokesperson. Also on Monday, Smith issued his own statement to apologize to Rock after failing to do so during his rambling lead actor acceptance speech.

The “Ali” and “Concussion” star struck Rock immediately after Rock apparently ad-libbed a “G.I. Jane” joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald hairstyle. She has been open about her hair loss and struggle with the autoimmune condition alopecia.

Smith later said his behavior was “unacceptable and inexcusable” and that he “reacted emotionally.”

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“Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith said in Monday’s statement. “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.”

Still, the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star and his family put up a united front while celebrating his Oscar win Sunday night. While Pinkett Smith has been pretty quiet about the whole affair, the “Red Table Talk” host seemingly addressed the controversy Tuesday on Instagram with a post that said, “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.”

Rock is also slated to co-headline a tour this summer with fellow actor-comedian Kevin Hart (who has had his own Oscars drama). The two comics announced the five-date “Rock Hart: Only Headliners Allowed” tour earlier this month, with stops in New York and New Jersey in late July.

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