"I did not say that. I said only gay people watch the Tonys," he joked Monday during an appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (search)."
But later he stuck to his guns.
"I really don't know any straight men who aren't in show business that have ever watched the Oscars," he said.
The Emmy-winning comedian has taken some heat for an Entertainment Weekly interview in which he called the notion of giving awards for art "idiotic" and added: "what straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars?"
But he offered Leno some toned-down criticism of Oscar hype.
"The awards don't really affect anybody's lives in the crowd," Rock said. "Meanwhile, the Nobel Peace Prize, there's no one there. Nobody cares what the scientists are wearing. What are you wearing Professor Allen? 'Pants!'"
Rock, asked if he was rooting for anyone to win, said he would favor Don Cheadle, who is up for best actor for his role in "Hotel Rwanda."
"I like it if the award will affect the person's life," Rock said. "If he wins, he's gonna get better scripts, he's gonna work with better directors."
And he had some advice for acceptance speeches.
"Don't thank God," Rock said. "God's busy working on the tsunami, so leave him alone."