By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Ticket sales for Chris Rock’s stand up comedy shows have reportedly increased “dramatically” following the Oscars altercation with Will Smith, which the comedian is yet to comment publicly on.
Sales increased by more than 25 times in the 48 hours since the incident, according to US ticket seller StubHub.
It comes after Rock was slapped onstage by Smith after he made a joke about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss.
The best actor winner, 53, has since apologised for his “unacceptable and inexcusable” actions and denounced violence in all its forms as “poisonous and destructive”.
Pinkett Smith, 50, also welcomed a “season for healing” in a post shared to Instagram.
StubHub said that cumulative sales for Rock’s tour in the days since the incident had surpassed the previous number of sales of the entirety of March.
“Now that we are 48 hours from Sunday evening, it’s evident that demand for Chris Rock shows has jumped dramatically, based on our ticket buying trends on StubHub,” a spokesperson for StubHub told The Hollywood Reporter.
“At this stage in his tour, on an average day, we’d expect to see a spike in sales in the 24 or 48 hours prior to a show date as last-minute sales roll in – but it is incredibly unusual to see the spike we have experienced.
“With daily sales remarkably more than twenty-five times higher than the average we have seen in the last month, we anticipate this interest will likely sustain for a short time.”
Ticket retailer TickPick said it had “sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined”.
Rock’s Ego Death World Tour is due to start on April 2.
In his apology, posted online, Smith said that Rock’s joke about his wife’s medical condition had caused him to react “emotionally”, adding: “I am a work in progress.”
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air star has been condemned by the Academy and a formal review into the altercation at the 94th annual awards ceremony has been launched.
The show was thrown into chaos when Smith went onstage and slapped Rock in front of the star-studded audience, after the comic made a joke about his wife and her hair loss.
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” prompting the actress to roll her eyes.
The Magic Mike XXL star and Red Table Talk host has previously spoken about her struggles with alopecia and said it is what prompted her to shave her head.
Smith walked up on stage and hit Rock before returning to his seat and shouting twice: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.”
Later, as he collected the award for best actor for his performance in King Richard, Smith apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees, but not to Rock, joking that he “looks like the crazy father”.
Oscars showrunner Will Packer later described the altercation as “a very painful moment for me”.
The incident prompted shock and later criticism from figures across the worlds of Hollywood and comedy.
During his Late Late Show on American channel CBS, James Corden used a sketch to quip that Smith “can’t take a joke”.
The Carpool Karaoke host told viewers: “Seriously though, I applaud Chris Rock for recovering, keeping the show moving. It was an incredibly dignified response.
“I’ll say this, Will Smith can’t take a joke, Chris Rock can take a punch. A steel jaw. Unbelievable.”
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said no report had been filed after the incident.