Comedy club Stand Up NY hailed for sign warning 'Will Smith copycats' will be REMOVED

New York comedy club Stand Up NY played it safe by putting up a sign warning guests against any attempts at recreating the Oscars incident


                            Comedy club Stand Up NY hailed for sign warning 'Will Smith copycats' will be REMOVED
New York comedy club Stand Up NY put up a sign warning guests against any copycat attempts at recreating the Oscars incident (TMZ/Twitter)
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Comedy venues are not taking any chances after Will Smith shocked the world by slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Academy Awards for poking fun at his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head.

The 'I am Legend' star assaulted the veteran comedian on stage at the 94th Academy Awards held at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 27. Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Film when he joked about Jada's shaved head, which is allegedly a result of her suffering from an autoimmune disease. When Rock said she could star in "G.I. Jane 2", Smith walked onto the stage, slapped Rock in the face, and walked back to his seat. "Keep my wife's name out of your f**king mouth," he yelled at Rock after taking his seat. Smith later apologized for his actions. 

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The popular New York comedy club Stand Up NY played it safe by putting up a sign warning guests against any copycat attempts at recreating the controversial event at the Hollywood awards show. "Comedians play a critical role in our society, especially during times of chaos and uncertainty," the sign read, showing photos of the moment Smith slapped Rock. "They make us laugh, bring perspective and remind us there are different ways of seeing our reality. Comics must be protected. Heckling and physical abuse of comics is prohibited, and patrons will be immediately removed from the showroom," the statement concluded.

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Speaking to TMZ, club owner Dani Zoldan said management felt the warning was necessary after all the buzz generated by the unfortunate incident on Sunday. She declared that she "emphatically disavows" Smith's actions and believes that "comedians are here to entertain us and make us laugh ... and that they deserve respect." Meanwhile, several notable comedy clubs appeared to be on edge but did not necessarily enact policy changes in response to the Oscars smack. These reportedly include the Comedy Cellar in NYC, Carolines on Broadway, and the Laugh Factory in LA.

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Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Stand Up NY was lauded on social media for the club's zero-tolerance stance on violence against comedians.

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"Let me tell you something, it’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian. Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters," comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted.

"And if it happens to me, I am suing Will Smith and The Academy for setting a dangerous precedent," fellow comedian Tammy Pescatelli wrote.

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"Finally a smart person in the world that has a spine to remove all violators of violence!" one Twitter user wrote.

"And they'll be keeping a close eye on anybody in a tuxedo," another quipped.

"Sad commentary on the state of society….. it’s also why Smith should have been removed from the event and arrested," someone else added.

"Stupid people will definitely need the signs," another offered

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Rock took the high road and decided not to press charges against Smith. “He isn’t even thinking of suing, he’s focused on his tour,” a close pal of the veteran comic reportedly told Page Six. Meanwhile, Chris Rock has sort of broken his silence on the slap during his stand-up comedy show in Boston, saying, “I don’t have a bunch of stories about what happened, so if you came to here that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that . And it will be serious and funny.”

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