Trevor Noah opens Grammys with reference to Will Smith slap

Trevor Noah came out swinging — packing his signature subtle punch — as host of the Grammys 2022 telecast.

After a slew of low-key remarks about “a concert where we give out some awards,” he dropped the first sly little bombshell of the evening: “We’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths,” the 38-year-old comedian quipped in an apparent reference to the infamous Will Smith-Chris Rock slap drama of Oscars 2022.

Noah then promptly pivoted to announce opening act Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak’s Silk Sonic, who performed “777,” spurring the host to describe them as an ode to the past: “A duo bringing back the ’70s … which might explain all the inflation … Silk Sonic.”

Trevor Noah at GrammysComedian Trevor Noah hosted the Grammys for the second year in a row.

“We made it,” he continued post-performances, referencing the indefinite delay of the awards show due to the Omicron variant. “Better late than never.”

Hosted in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena Sunday night, Noah threw jokes at the “music royalty” in the room, including Justin Bieber.

“The best thing to happen to peaches since that Timothée Chalamet movie,” joked Noah, who’s dating “Titans” actress Minka Kelly, before Olivia Rodrigo hit the stage to perform her chart-topping “Driver’s License.”

Trevor NoahNoah’s joked flowed fast as he wove through the crowd of “music royalty.”

Earlier this month, the comedian noted that the Grammys, albeit a time to celebrate everyone’s favorite artists, would also highlight political topics, like the crisis in Ukraine.

“I think the show is going to find the right place and the right space to do something,” the Emmy-winner said weeks prior to his big moment on stage. “It’s one of those interesting balances in life we try to achieve, which is acknowledging what’s happening in the world whilst allowing yourself the grace to celebrate some of the moments that are also going on.”

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Noah graced the staged on the heels of an online feud with Kanye West after defending the rapper’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian.

“What [Kardashian is] going through is terrifying to watch, and it shines a spotlight on what so many women go through when they choose to leave,” Noah said on “The Daily Show” after West’s onslaught of Instagram posts against Kardashian and new beau Pete Davidson.

West, who was barred from performing at the Grammys this year because of his “concerning online behavior,” bit back at Noah, calling him a racial slur in yet another Instagram tirade.

“I’ve woken up too many times and read headlines about men who’ve killed their exes, their kids and then themselves. I never want to read that headline about you,” Noah later expressed upon seeing the post.

West’s on-stage absence announced earlier this month welcomed, of course, some online opinions, especially from rapper The Game, born Jayceon Taylor, who took to Instagram to defend West.

“As if we didn’t know it was coming,” wrote The Game, referencing the Grammys decision and hypothesizing what prompted it.

“Could be because @trevornoah is hosting and there was a conversation held amongst his team & the academy that led to the decision,” he continued, referencing the beef between West and Noah, “or because Ye’s account was suspended just days ago for reasons unknown especially in a world where all the negativities of the world can be found on the same app with no repercussions or suspensions.”

But without West, the Grammys still has an onslaught of performers ready to hit the stage.

Olivia Rodrigo, H.E.R., J Balvin, John Legend, Chris Stapleton and Billie Eilish are amongst the musical guests and nominees slated to perform in Las Vegas.

Eilish — who already has seven Grammys and now an Oscar under her belt at just 20 years old — is up for another seven gramophones.

Doja Cat, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Foo Fighters and Silk Sonic are amongst the plethora of artists also nominated in various categories.

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