Chris Rock's Lamar joke

NEW YORK • Comedian Chris Rock gave a glimpse of the provocative humour he may bring as host of the Oscars with a tweet about basketball and reality television celebrity Lamar Odom that drew both scorn and applause last Friday.

"Here's to Lamar Odom on being the first guy in history to have coke and hookers save his marriage," Rock tweeted to his 3.5 million Twitter followers, adding: "Stay strong Lamar."

The tweet came in the week that Odom, 35, and his estranged wife Khloe Kardashian, 31, called off their divorce as the former basketball star recovers from collapsing into a coma at a Nevada brothel after reportedly using cocaine.

Rock, 50, was named last week as host of the 2016 Academy Awards in February. It will be his second stint after a 2005 performance that made headlines for his barbed comments about race and politics. "Not sure if I should consider this inappropriate or hail you as a God damn genius," replied one user.

Others took Rock to task ("shame on u", "how insensitive").

Odom, a former NBA star, is said to be making progress but faces a long period of rehabilitation with concerns over his kidneys and other organs. TMZ.com said he underwent two emergency surgeries in Los Angeles last Thursday. REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2015, with the headline 'Chris Rock's Lamar joke'. Print Edition | Subscribe