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Chris Rock pokes fun at ‘Licorice Pizza’, Sean Penn, during surprise awards show appearance

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Walt Disney Television/Yolanda Perez

Chris Rock took to the podium during the National Board of Review honors in New York City Tuesday evening, and his surprise appearance might have some wishing he was back as host of this year’s Academy Awards.

Rock poked fun at Licorice PizzaPaul Thomas Anderson‘s award-winning coming of age film, according to USA Today

“I’m here for Paul Thomas Anderson,” Rock reportedly said, “a person who has never cast me…Nothing!” joked the 57-year-old stand-up. “Not even to wash his car!”

Rock admitted, however, that Licorice Pizza was “probably the best movie I saw this year,” but allowed, “I only saw about four movies,” before adding, “It’s a good thing I’m not hosting the Oscars this year, like, ‘I hope you saw this [stuff], because I didn’t'”

Of the film, in which Cooper Hoffman‘s high school-aged character ends up in a relationship with an older Alana Haim, Rock riffed, the leading man is, “not obviously handsome enough to get Alana, and that’s kind of the (plot) of the movie.”

He added of Hoffman’s character, “He works really hard. And she learns that money and hard work do for men what women think plastic surgery does for them.”

Rock also took a shot at Licorice Pizza‘s Sean Penn for reportedly filming a documentary in Ukraine amid the battles there. “I know he has something to do with this war. I know he’s mixed up in it,” Rock said. “Sean Penn is getting waterboarded as we speak.”

Jabs notwithstanding, Licorice Pizza won National Board of Review’s Best Film Prize at the ceremony, and has been nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, at this year’s 94th Annual Academy Awards, which air live on ABC on March 27.

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