Chris Tucker on His Comedic Beginnings and Stand-Up Idols

Odds are, you know who Chris Tucker is. You probably first saw him in Friday, or maybe Rush Hour, and you've almost definitely seen him since then.

What you might not have known is that Tucker will be bringing his stand-up to Celebrity Theatre on Saturday, May 16.

Like many comedians, Tucker started his career in high school. It was from his first time on stage that the comic fell in love with doing stand-up.

"It started in high school. I was the class clown, and the teacher told me I should enter the talent show," Tucker says. "I ended up hosting. I would talk about issues around the school, and they would get them fixed. I loved making people laugh from that point."

Shortly after high school, Tucker moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles to follow his dreams of being an actor and a comedian. Although he may be better known as an actor, Tucker still loves making people laugh on stage.

"Stand-up was my first love, and it is very different from movies," Tucker says. "It is more up close and personal. There are no takes on that stage. It also helps me when I do movies by keeping me sharp. A lot of the lines from some of the old movies came because I was sharp with my comedy from doing stand-up."

Overall, Tucker believes that his comedy just comes from his everyday life. He's not joking about ridiculous things that most of the world can't relate to, he's talking about family and daily experiences that could happen to anyone.

"I guess I have always been able to see a funny side of the world. I guess it's still try and find humor in day-to-day life, and that is where most of my act comes from," Tucker says. "I talk a lot about growing up and my family experiences. People should know that I have a big family and they can expect to hear about some real-life funny stuff."

Since debuting on TV screens across America on HBO's Def Comedy Jam in 1992, Tucker has certainly seen plenty of comedians come and go over the last 23 years. Despite the constantly evolving styles of comedy, Tucker believes that it's more or less the same as when he began.

"Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy are the legends I grew up listening to. There are some others out there also, but those were the biggest," Tucker says. "I won't say that [comedy] has changed, just maybe different younger comics have different styles."

Chris Tucker will be at Celebrity Theatre on May 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $59 to $96 and are available on the Celebrity Theatre website.

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Josh Chesler
Contact: Josh Chesler