Chris Rock’s return to Saturday Night Live marked the comedian’s first appearance on the show since 1996, and he commemorated the event with a bit of controversy. Taking the coveted stage for his opening monologue, Rock brought the banter to two very touchy subjects: the Boston marathon bombings and 9/11.
Did he go too far? Peep the highlights and be the judge:
“Tomorrow’s the New York City marathon. What could go wrong there, right?”
“That was probably the most frightening, sadistic terrorist attack ever. Just think about it. Twenty-six miles. Twenty-six miles is a long drive. […] People jogging for 26 miles, man. Their knees are hurting, their feet are killing them. […] You’ve been training for a year, you finally get to the finish line, and somebody screams: ‘Run!’ That is horrible, man. But hey, the good people of Boston bounced back.”
9/11 and the Freedom Tower:
“They should change the name from the Freedom Tower to the ‘Never Going in There’ Tower. Because I’m never going in there. There is no circumstance that will ever get me in that building. Are you kidding me?”
“What do they have? Does this building duck? What are they thinking? Who’s the corporate sponsor, Target? Stop it. In the same spot? They put another skyscraper in the same spot? What kind of arrogant, Floyd Mayweather crap is this?”
“What businesses are they going to put in the Freedom Tower? They better put some mandatory stuff in there. Stuff you can’t get out of. Like the IRS, family court, DMV. ‘Cause if they put a Sunglass Hut in there, it’s gonna be empty.”
“I am never going in the Freedom Tower. I don’t care if Scarlett Johansson is butt naked on the 89th floor in a plate of ribs.”
“You gotta realize, we are in America, and in America there are no sacred days because we commercialize everything. We’re only five years away from 9/11 sales. That’s right, you’re gonna hear it on the radio: ‘Come on down to Red Lobster, these shrimp are 9 dollars and 11 cents.'”
Rock topped his monologue off with jokes about America’s commercialization of Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, gun control, and his unwillingness to support charitable causes. He ended his nearly 8-minute bit with, “If you see me talking about a disease, I got it.” Later in the show, he starred in a sketch about Islamic extremist group ISIS.
Watch his full Saturday Night Live monologue in the video above.