Apparently, Jerry Seinfeld Wanted Chris Rock For An Oscars Slap Redemption Scene In Unfrosted. Even He Isn’t Sure It Would’ve Worked

 Jerry Seinfeld starring in "Unfrosted" (2024), Chris Rock performing in "Selected Outrage" (2023).
Jerry Seinfeld starring in "Unfrosted" (2024), Chris Rock performing in "Selected Outrage" (2023).

In the quirky world of Jerry Seinfeld's humor, even one of the Oscars' most jaw-dropping moments, the infamous time Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, is fair game for ridicule and parody.

During a revealing chat on Dana Carvey and David Spade’s podcast, the former NBC star shared an intriguing behind-the-scenes tidbit about his feature directorial debut, Unfrosted. The film on the 2024 movie schedule, which humorously delves into the slightly true but mostly fictional origin story of Pop-Tarts amidst a breakfast pastry rivalry between cereal giants Kellogg’s and Post, originally had a moment planned that would have directly nodded to Chris Rock’s infamous Oscars slap. The scene would have been a sort of redemption scene, but even the legendary comic isn’t sure it would’ve worked.

Talking on the Fly On The Wall podcast, the co-creator of arguably the greatest sitcom of all time described an unused bit that would have seen Rock playing an emcee at a fictional award show, engaging in a slapstick redemption of sorts. As he explained:

The other thing I wanted to do that I almost did was Chris Rock was going to be the emcee of the Bowl & Spoon Awards — and we shot that right after the Will Smith slap, I was going to have somebody come up on the stage and have Chris punch ’em out as they got there.

Unfrosted sets its comedic sights on the 1963 breakfast landscape, boasting an impressive cast that includes big names like Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, and Hugh Grant. The former NBC star also pulled a few strings from old friendships to land some mindblowing cameos.

Interestingly, Cedric the Entertainer appears early in the film as Stu Smiley, the cheerful host of the fictional Bowl & Spoon Awards, which celebrates breakfast food achievements. Seinfeld revealed that Chris Rock was imagined for this part, but the comedian's readiness to revisit the Oscar moment was still in question, and ultimately, he passed, leading to a change in casting and creative direction. Seinfeld continued:

Chris wasn’t up to perform. He was still a little shook from that event. But, that was what that scene was going to be, but Cedric saved the day. I love Cedric.

The podcast discussion turned to whether such a scene would have resonated with audiences or simply rehashed painful memories. When the TV veteran turned to the hosts and asked if the bit would be funny, Dana Carvey suggested that the joke might have landed more effectively had the actual Oscars slap not occurred. The former SNL star pointed out:

Without the Will Smith thing, I think it's funny… There’s still a residual darkness around that moment.

Seinfeld, in response, pushed back. He asked the hosts:

Isn’t that [what] we’re attracted to more than anything, residual darkness?

According to Dana, if he had been in the writer’s room, he would have had his reservations. The Master of Disguise star continued:

Uh, it could be [funny], let’s think about that. But if Chris is there, and wants to do it, get it.

Ultimately, Jerry said he didn’t know if the bit would have worked. The Bee Movie voice actor said:

I don’t know if it would have worked. It was an idea.

This creative exchange underscores a significant aspect of comedy: its ability to confront and potentially defuse cultural traumas. Yet, the decision to cut the scene suggests a cautious approach to handling such a sensitive topic, especially when the real-life implications remain palpable.

Since the Oscars incident, Chris Rock has maintained a relatively low profile, while Will Smith issued a public apology and faced consequences from The Academy. As the dust settles, the Fresh Prince star is back to work with a ton of upcoming movies and TV shows on the horizon.

Jerry Seinfeld's insights about his movie reveal the intricate challenges filmmakers encounter when real-life events influence their creative narratives. Released on May 3, 2024, Unfrosted has sparked varied and strong opinions from critics. In CinemaBlend's review of Seinfeld's directorial debut, Mike Reyes pointed out that while the film strays from a factual representation of the Pop-Tart's history, it delivers a uniquely chaotic brand of comedy. He gave the flick a commendable 4 out of 5 stars.

For those interested, Unfrosted is available to stream with a Netflix subscription, allowing viewers to form their own opinions about this unconventional comedic venture.