From the early ’90s to about a decade onwards, comedian Chris Tucker was on top of the world. His high-pitched and high-speed style of comedy branded him an appealing comedic foil in many a movie. But now he’s looking to make his way back into the spotlight proper with an upcoming Netflix-produced stand-up special.
After the world was introduced to Smokey in the first Friday movie back in 1995, his star took off in a huge way and led him to co-star in the Rush Hour trilogy, his biggest franchise ever, with Jackie Chan. It’s reported that he was paid $20 and $25 million for Rush Hours 2 & 3 respectively and even received 20% of those film’s box offices grosses.
Tucker has been relatively quiet since then, only taking a supporting role in the 2012 dramedy Silver Linings Playbook, but after pulling in $45 million for two movies, can you really blame him? He hosted the 2013 BET Awards and traced back his ancestry on the TV series African American Lives.
Tucker has been out of the spotlight for quite some time, so here’s a refresher of some of his funniest moments across his 23-year-long career.
Def Comedy Jam
It’s often forgotten that Tucker got his start on Def Comedy Jam. Check out the world’s introduction to the motor-mouthed funny man.
Johnny Booze in House Party 3
This brief stint in the third House Party movie was enough for Tucker to make an impression on movie audiences.
Smokey in Friday
It was Tucker’s role in this movie with more quotable lines than we can count that introduced him to the world in a big way and proved that Black-centric comedies can translate to box office gold.
Ruby Rhod inThe Fifth Element
A bizarre offering from co-writer and director Luc Besson, Tucker’s role as the garish talk-show host was a standout even among the blue aliens and alien tech.
Beaumont Livingston in Jackie Brown
This conversation between Tucker and Samuel L. Jackson says it all.
James Carter in Rush Hour 1-3
These are the movies that have (seemingly) paid for Tucker’s life for nearly a decade. Directed by Brett Ratner and co-starring Jackie Chan, the Rush Hour series was a monumental hit that made instant stars out of all three men and let the world know to never touch a Black man’s radio.
Dylan “CineMasai” Green is a movie geek, hip-hop aficionado, and pita chip enthusiast. Find him on Twitter.
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