‘Oh, hell no,’ Wanda Sykes wouldn’t host the Oscars again. ‘You do it once’

A woman leans her head against her hand while smiling.
Wanda Sykes hosted the 2022 Oscars alongside Amy Schumer and Regina Hall.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Wanda Sykes didn’t know what she was in for when she agreed to host the Oscars in March.

What began as a night to celebrate the best in motion pictures, of course, turned into an avalanche of chaos after Will Smith strutted onstage and slapped presenter Chris Rock in the face — taking the spotlight from co-hosts Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Sykes.

Appearing Tuesday morning on “Live With Kelly and Ryan,” Sykes reflected on her overall feelings about the event, speaking specifically to the joy of “CODA‘s” historic best picture win.


“It was an amazing night, it really was,” she said. “You know, it was just so much good vibes going on in the room, the movie ‘CODA’ was killing it, everyone was really happy.”

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Soon after, Ryan Seacrest brought up the burning question: Would she do it again, knowing all that would happen?

“Oh, hell no,” she said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

“I mean, I shouldn’t say it like that,” she added. “It was an amazing honor, and I think it’s something that you want to do, you do it once, and I don’t know if I would want to do it again. It’s a huge job, and it took a lot of people to clean me up.”

After Kelly Ripa expressed her own incredulity at the slapping incident, Seacrest asked Sykes what her initial reaction was when she saw it happen.

“It was just like, what is happening?” she said. “I couldn’t believe it, shocked. And then it was like, ‘OK, so everyone’s just going to sit here?’ The show just kept going. I’d look beyond the curtain, like, ‘He’s still sitting here?’”

Sykes has previously expressed her disdain for the incident while standing up for Rock, who is a friend, and saying Smith should have been removed from his seat.


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“I just felt so awful for my friend, you know, Chris, and it was — it was sickening. It was absolutely — I physically felt ill, and I’m still a little traumatized by it,” Sykes said in March on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

“And for [the academy] to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award,” she continued. “I was like, ‘How gross is this? This is just the wrong message,’” she said. “You assault somebody, you get escorted out the building. And that’s it, you know. But for them to let him continue, I thought — I thought it was gross.”