By Lynette Carrington
International superstar Chris Tucker has had an enviable career that has taken him from the biggest comedy stages in the world, to Hollywood and beyond. Danny Zelisko Presents welcomes the funny man with a heart of gold to Celebrity Theatre 8:00 p.m. Friday, October 13. I recently caught up with Chris Tucker in advance of his Valley appearance.
Tucker enjoys the challenge of keeping the comedic energy fresh. “We always keep evolving,” says Tucker. “Stand-up comedy – a lot of it is ‘in-the-moment.’ The best stand-up comedy is in-the-moment and a lot of improvisation. My life is always evolving, and that’s good to talk about, too. It’s fun.”
What can audiences expect from the comic who can go from mild to wild in 3 seconds flat? “It’s always what’s going on the world and that’s a lot of new stuff… What’s going on in my life, stuff that I left out last time, and I say, ‘I want to do it this time. I should have said this…’ There’s always something new and it’s always evolving.” says the comedian.
Tucker continues, “I’m in my 40s now and I talk about that in my show. I know a lot of people can relate. A lot of my fans have followed me since I was my teens, so they can relate to a lot of stuff that changes over time.”
His first stand-up movie, “Chris Tucker Live,” released 2015 and available exclusively on Netflix, marked the first project that Tucker starred in and produced through his own company, Chris Tucker Entertainment. Filmed in his hometown of Atlanta, Tucker returned to the stage he loves and showcased his mind-blowing comedic chops as he shared his experiences from childhood to the big time.
Tucker has had an extremely successful film career that includes a diverse assortment of movies including “Friday,” “Jackie Brown,” “The Fifth Element,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” and the incredibly successful franchise of “Rush Hour” films. In fact, his salary for “Rush Hour 3” made him the highest paid movie star at the time. “They’re supposed to be developing a script for ‘Rush Hour 4,’ explains Tucker, “So, I’m waiting and we’ll see what happens with that. There are also talks about doing another ‘Friday.’ I have some new projects that I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m developing a lot of those things that I can’t really talk about right now, but I’m excited about it.”
Tucker doesn’t have a preference between his comedy and acting careers. “I like both, because they work hand in hand,” says Tucker. “Stand-up is in-the-moment and kind of keeps me sharp. Movies and diving into acting roles and characters, being able to use my comedic ability, and my serious side, and working with other great actors and great directors – it’s another form of art to just have fun with. I love them the same!”
The entertainer took a moment to address the recent events in Las Vegas. He says, “It’s a great, great tragedy. It’s very sad that something like this can happen. My prayers go out to the families, and to America and to the world. This shouldn’t be happening. This shouldn’t be happening! We have to do something about it and not sit around and just let it happen again, because it’s happened too many times.”
Some people may not realize that Tucker is also an involved humanitarian and founded The Chris Tucker Foundation that benefits those in his hometown of Atlanta, GA, as well as people in locations across the U.S. and the world. Tucker explains, “I love kids. I love education. We do scholarships for kids for college. Through my church, we do homeless ministry and help people out that way.” He also is involved with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs. Additionally, his foundation often hears of projects or causes and helps out wherever and however it can.
For additional information about Chris Tucker, visit www.christucker.com or join the Chris Tucker Mobile Club by texting TUCKER to 90407.
The night of October 13, doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $31, $51, $66, $91 and $116. Buy tickets at Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., in Phoenix, or online at www.celebritytheatre.com. To charge by phone, call 602-267-1600 ext. 1. All tickets are subject to facility and ticketing surcharges. All ages welcome!
About Danny Zelisko Presents (DZP):
Danny Zelisko has been bringing shows to Phoenix since 1974. He founded and ran the legendary Evening Star Productions in 1977, and changed the face of the live concert experience in Arizona and the Southwest, producing thousands of shows over the years. After years of practice, DZP promotes about 150 shows annually in Arizona, New Mexico and Las Vegas. Danny’s love for music is evident as he and Azcentral.com’s Ed Masley host a weekly 2-hour radio show, Phoenix’s Finest Rock, every Monday night at 5:00 p.m., heard locally on 93.9 FM, or on the worldwide internet at www.KWSS.org. For more information: www.dannyzeliskopresents.com.