By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor
Benedict Cumberbatch joked he was “beat by Will Smith” at the Oscars as he hosted Saturday Night Live.
The British actor, 45, made his second appearance on the popular US comedy show alongside musical guests Arcade Fire.
During his opening monologue, Cumberbatch joked that the majority of sketches he was pitched for the show revolved around his Marvel character.
He said: “Most were about Doctor Strange. I love the guy, I love playing the character. The film’s doing really well, but I have been in other films.”
Cumberbatch joked that he had been asked “Like what?”, and responded: “Well, The Power Of The Dog for a start”, before adding: “Come on man, I was nominated for an Oscar for that. I didn’t win. I mean, I was beat by Will Smith.”
After a pause, he added: “No, not physically!”
Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Academy Awards in March after the comedian made a joke about his wife’s short haircut, the result of a hair-loss condition.
Cumberbatch had been nominated for the Oscar for best actor in a leading role but the award was won by Smith for his performance in King Richard, minutes after the slap took place.
The incident has become the source of many jokes as well as prompting fears among some comedians that they are no longer safe while performing in public.
Cumberbatch also used his SNL appearance to joke about Johnny Depp’s ongoing defamation case with ex-wife Amber Heard and a leaked document suggesting the US Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that legalised abortion across the country.
He said: “While I was cleaning the hole on the side of the castle where we poop and then it falls through the sky into a hole of human faeces, I started to think about abortion.”
Cumberbatch then added: “Don’t you think we ought to make a law against that?”
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was released in cinemas on May 6th, and stars Cumberbatch alongside Benedict Wong, Elizabeth Olsen and Rachel McAdams.