Rock — who has twice hosted the ceremony — went after the motion picture academy over its lack of nominations for Sandler, who received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center this week.
“We all work hard, but nobody works as hard as the Sandman,” Rock said at the Washington event. “Nobody comes even close.”
He then turned his attention to the Oscars. “They’re fucking assholes,” he said. “If they don’t want to give my man his props, then we will tonight.”
Rock, who recently joked about actor Will Smith slapping him at the Oscars last year, made a nod to the moment again at the Kennedy Center — likening it to the October attack on Paul Pelosi, the spouse of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“Paul Pelosi, the only guy that knows how I felt. Just me and you, Paul. Just me and you, babe,” said Rock as the husband of the former House speaker laughed in the crowd.
Rock was among a number of stars who attended the Washington event recognizing Sandler’s decadeslong career. Other celebrities who honored the “Saturday Night Live” alum included Jennifer Aniston, Judd Apatow, Dana Carvey and Drew Barrymore.
CNN is set to air a recording of the Mark Twain Prize ceremony on Sunday.