Brad Garrett rips Will Smith, film industry

Brad Garrett poses for a portrait at his new comedy club venue at the MGM Grand hotel-casino i ...

Brad Garrett has mastered the art of the insult. He simply wipes out the first two rows in his sets at his MGM Grand comedy.

Garrett is the closest comic to Don Rickles working the Las Vegas stage today. As such, he watched with a unique perspective Will Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock at Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast. It was Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head that set off Smith, who went on hit Rock onstage. About 40 minutes later, Smith returned the stage to accept the Oscar for best actor for playing Richard Williams in “King Richard.”

Garrett was clear in his take on the night’s events.

“It was inexcusable, and an assault that should have been handled as such,” Garrett said via text Tuesday afternoon. “And then minutes later, a standing ovation for this guy?! And his tired, rambling speech about love and protecting one’s family?! Just another example of how poorly the Academy handled a situation and the hypocrisy that surrounds our industry.”

Garrett marks his 10th anniversary at MGM Grand this month. His club originally hauled into its space at the hotel’s Underground in March 2012, moving to the District on the hotel’s main level in November. Garrett is back onstage hosting Sunday and Monday.

In his decade on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Garrett won three Emmys for supporting actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of Robert Barone.

Garrett went on to say, “It’s obvious that Will has some deep-rooted issues he’s never resolved, ironically much of it stemming from domestic abuse he experienced and witnessed growing up. Chris of course handled it brilliantly. Can only imagine how disappointed the Williams family must have felt.”

Asked if he’s ever been attacked onstage, Garrett said, “Never.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.