Trevor Noah Jokes 'We're Going to Be Keeping People's Names Out of Our Mouths' While Hosting Grammys

The Daily Show comedian joked during his opening monologue about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars last weekend

Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty

Trevor Noah is kicking off music's biggest night with a bang.

On Sunday, The Daily Show comedian, 38, returned to host the Grammy Awards for a second consecutive year. In his opening monologue, he joked about the events of the Oscars the weekend prior, during which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in a controversial moment onstage.

"We're going to be listening to music, we're going to be dancing, we're going to be singing, we're going to be keeping people's names out of our mouths and we're going to be giving out awards all throughout the night," Noah said, referencing how Smith shouted at Rock after the slap, "Keep my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth."

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The altercation occurred while Rock, 57, was presenting the award Best Documentary Feature inside Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre. During his time on stage, he cracked a few jokes, including one about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head.

Rock compared the actress' appearance to that of Demi Moore's look in G.I. Jane. Pinkett Smith, 50, who recently opened up about living with alopecia, was visibly unamused, rolling her eyes from her seat. Seconds later, Smith, 53, walked onstage and approached Rock, smacking him in front of the audience and millions watching the telecast at home.

Smith then remained seated with his wife at his table for the rest of the night. Rock has so far declined to press charges.

When Smith won Best Actor later in the Oscars ceremony, he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees. The following day, he publicly apologized to Rock on social media. He's since resigned from the Academy amid the ensuing controversy.

Earlier in his monologue, Noah welcomed everybody to the show, which was originally scheduled for January in L.A. but then was postponed amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

"We are officially here — better late than never, right?" he said. "This is a party. We're in Vegas! People are doing shots. Last year people were doing shots, but it was more Moderna and Pfizer."

Noah then called out the notable attendees and nominees in the audience, including Olivia Rodrigo.

"I saw Olivia Rodrigo myself. She was getting carded, and she had to show a bouncer her actual driver's license. It was like history, people!" Noah said, referencing her song and record of the year-nominated hit "Drivers License."

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Grammy Awards Arrivals
Trevor Noah. Kevin Mazur/Getty

Noah also joked about seeing both Nas and Lil Nas X, saying, "Lil Nas is actually taller. They don't tell you this!"

When Noah turned his attention to Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, he said, "There's only one question I can't wait to ask them: What is Finneas' last name? Is it Eilish? Why won't you tell us Finneas? What are you hiding?"

With House of Gucci costars Lady Gaga and Jared Leto in the building, Noah said, "We got a full house of Gucci, or like an apartment of Gucci. A Gucci Airbnb."

Joking about Justin Bieber's hit "Peaches," Noah said it was, "the best thing to happen to peaches since that Timothee Chalamet movie [Call Me By Your Name]."

Concluding his monologue, Noah said, "It's going to be such a beautiful evening. Don't even think of it like an awards show. This is a concert where we're giving out awards."

The award ceremony has, so far, featured performances from music's biggest stars, with BTS, Lil Nas X, Eilish, and Rodrigo all performing. Despite an earlier announcement as Grammy performers, the Foo Fighters canceled their live shows after drummer Taylor Hawkins died last week.

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Trevor Noah, are airing and streaming live on Sundayfrom the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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