Benedict Cumberbatch Jokes He Was 'Beat By Will Smith' At Oscars During Saturday Night Live Monologue

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Benedict Cumberbatch kicked off his latest hosting stint on Saturday Night Live with gags about his latest outing as Doctor Strange and the drama at this year’s Oscars.

The former Sherlock star opened the show with a monologue in which he told viewers: “I am thrilled to be back hosting Saturday Night Live. It’s been a really fun, great week.

“I’ve got to be honest though, because most of the sketch writers this week, they pitched me sketches everyday, and most were about Doctor Strange.

I love the guy and I love playing the character. The film’s doing really well—but I have been in other films.”

Among the past films he referenced later in the monologue was the Netflix drama The Power Of The Dog, for which he bagged his second Oscar nomination.

Benedict Cumberbatch in the SNL studio (Photo: NBC)
Benedict Cumberbatch in the SNL studio (Photo: NBC)

Benedict Cumberbatch in the SNL studio (Photo: NBC)

“Come on, man. I was nominated for an Oscar for that,” he joked. “I did okay. I mean, I didn’t win. I was beat by Will Smith.”

As the audience laughed, Benedict quickly added: “No, not physically.”

Benedict was, of course, referencing the moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the Academy Awards this year, after the comic made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Will Smith after winning his Oscar (Photo: Myung Chun via Getty Images)
Will Smith after winning his Oscar (Photo: Myung Chun via Getty Images)

Will Smith after winning his Oscar (Photo: Myung Chun via Getty Images)

Will issued a public apology following the incident and later resigned from the Film Academy.

After an investigation was conducted, Oscars organisers ruled that the former Fresh Prince star was banned from attending the awards show for the next 10 years.

“The action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behaviour is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy,” a statement said.

“We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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