15 Chris Tucker Jokes and Moments for the Hall of Fame
Most people know Chris Tucker from three places: Friday, the Rush Hour movies and The Fifth Element. And let’s be honest: He kinda plays a similar character in each, but man, can he play that character. Tucker pretty much owns the role of the fast-talking, funny sidekick. His characters are an extension of his stage act, which is also loud and sharp. And although he hasn’t been on the radar for awhile, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had a top-notch career.
It’s been so top-notch, in fact, that we're inducting 15 of his best jokes and moments into the Hall of Fame.
His First National TV Appearance
This installment of Showtime at the Apollo was hosted by Mark Curry, star of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, which Tucker appeared on just three days after this episode aired. Plus, in the intro, they plug Tucker’s then-upcoming appearance in The Meteor Man. First TV stand-up set, first sitcom role and first movie role — check, check and check.
His First Real Movie Role
Nothing against The Meteor Man — it’s a fun, campy cult classic superhero movie from the days when filmmakers were still trying to figure out how to really do superheroes on screen. Tucker’s uncredited bit part as “MC in Mall” isn’t much, and so, his next role as Johnny Booze in House Party 3 is more fun to watch, especially in a “look at how he started out” kinda way.
On His Tax Problems
“Take care of your business. Don’t listen to people. Do your own business. Be careful who you listen to, ‘cause that’s the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out with my taxes. Almost got both our asses locked up, man. Gonna kick Wesley’s ass!”
Def Comedy Jam
Of all the big names in comedy whose careers exploded thanks to Def Comedy Jam back in the early 1990s, Tucker was definitely one of the standouts. Even at at a young age, he had full command of the stage.
On Hanging Out with Prince
“(Prince) is so short, you could see his feet on his driver’s license.”
Tucker’s first breakout role, a huge hit and a timeless cult classic — in large part because of Tucker’s Smokey. As valid as all the reasons given over the years for Tucker not returning for the sequels (pay, creative differences, religious objections), it’s a shame we never got to see Smokey again in any official capacity. The closest we came to this wish coming true was Tucker’s cameo in the video for Dr. Dre’s “Keep Their Heads Ringin.”
Tucker’s first starring role, and an underrated gem. It showcased not only Tucker’s ability as a leading man, but also showed that his comedic chops are best used when he’s paired up with a mismatched, stuffy straight man — in this case Charlie Sheen (of all people). It was Tucker’s performance in Money Talks that made him director Brett Ratner’s first choice for Rush Hour.
The trailers did us dirty on this one. They made it seem like Tucker was gonna play a much larger role, only to see him get a single scene before getting killed off in the first 20 minutes. It was, though, a brilliant scene.
“People just break into my house anytime they want to. Somebody come break into my house so many times, I come home and I don’t even get scared no more. I ask them, ‘Did anybody call?’ I’m serious — I know the person who keeps breaking into my house. We’re friends now. On Christmas, he sent me back some of my stuff.”
Rush Hour Trilogy
The first Rush Hour catapulted Tucker to superstardom. He got paid $3 million for it, but after the movie became such a huge hit, Tucker earned $20 million for Rush Hour 2 and $25 million (plus 20 percent of the gross) for Rush Hour 3, making him the highest paid actor in Hollywood at the time.
On His Mother
The Fifth Element
Love it or hate it, one thing everyone can agree on is that The Fifth Element was ambitious. Luc Besson’s vision of the future was batshit insane from the very first frame, but that craziness was cranked up to the max when Tucker’s indescribable intergalactic radio personality Ruby Rhod entered the frame. Easily one of the single greatest character introductions in film history.
A Smokey and Deebo Reunion
Okay, so there is a spiritual sequel with Tucker, in more than one sense of the word. At a comedy show at Tucker’s church, fellow church member and Friday (and Meteor Man, and Fifth Element, and Jackie Brown) co-star Tommy “Tiny” Lister joined Tucker onstage to improv as Smokey and Deebo. It’s a fun little skit, made even better because they’re making references to Tucker’s raunchiest movie in a church of all places.
”You Rock My World” Music Video
We could do an entire post about the utter insanity of the short film/music video for Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World,” but among its highlights is Tucker trying to shoehorn references to “Bad,” “Beat It” and “Dangerous” into two lines of earnest dialogue and then capping it off with “SHAMON!”