Will Smith will soon be making his very first post-Oscars talk show appearance and there will no doubt be a whole bunch of people checking it out. The thing is if you rush to make sure you can watch it as soon as you can — either to hear the King Richard star defend himself or to watch him squirm under the host’s microscope — you’re bound to be disappointed. Why? Because we know for a fact that Smith will not be discussing the Oscars. How could we possibly know that? Well, because unless Smith has a lot more to reveal to us than we know, the Oscar winner is in possession of neither psychic powers nor a time machine.
That’s right. In spite of us getting used to celebrities sneezing and all of Twitter hearing of it within seconds — ready either to say “gesundheit” in unison or to complain about the sneeze’s ulterior motives — sometimes there’s stuff that’s still filmed one day and doesn’t air until another. So by the time we can see Will Smith interviewed by late night veteran David Letterman on his Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, it will have been a couple of months since the episode was recorded. Specifically, the Smith interview was recorded before this March, and it was on March 27 when Smith infamously treated Chris Rock’s face like the butt of a newborn. So, obviously, neither David Letterman nor David Letterman’s beard knew to ask Smith about any future slaps. Likewise, when the interview was recorded, Will Smith was blissfully unaware he was weeks or possibly months away from simultaneously slapping a comedian in the face and kneeing his own career in the groin.
The Will Smith appearance on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is due to drop on Netflix a couple of weeks from now, on Friday May 20. While obviously the Oscars incident won’t be discussed, it’s inevitable fans and others will pick the interview apart for signs of the frustration that may or may not have been already simmering inside Smith before the Oscars. If he jokingly mentions violence during the interview, for example, it will likely become the most meme-able clip ever (or at least for a week). If the interview begins and ends without anyone getting on stage to attack the actor, that might be worthy of commentary as well.
It’s at least a little ironic that Netflix has so much potential to benefit from the Will Smith interview considering the streaming service is one of many entertainment institutions who seem to be working overtime to make themselves Will Smith-free zones; at least for a while. The streamer has reportedly slammed the brakes on the production of Smith’s Netflix original film Fast & Loose while outright canceling plans for a sequel to 2017’s Bright.
Will Smith, by the way, is hardly the only celebrity of note to be featured on the new batch of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction episodes. Letterman’s talk show will also have new interviews with Cardi B, Ryan Reynolds, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Billie Eilish, and Kevin Durant.