Several comedians kept the 90s and 2000s filled with non-stop laughter, and Chris Tucker was one of them. He began to make his mark in 1992 when he performed on the HBO comedy Def Comedy Jam. This short stint would eventually open doors for his film debut and mainstream success. Although he’s appeared in crime thrillers and drams, Chris Tucker’s movie roles often utilize his unmatched comedic chops.
In 1995, Tucker starred alongside Ice Cube in Friday, which has grown to become a cult classic favorite. Despite his iconic role as Smokey, he famously turned down $12 million to appear in the sequel because he didn’t “want to represent everyone smokin’ weed.” Ice Cube enlisted Epps for Next Friday instead — a move that Cube deemed a blessing in disguise, claiming Epps to be a funnier comedian than Tucker. After the success of Rush Hour in 1998, Tucker became a household name and one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.
His career also features numerous hosting performances. Tucker has hosted three NAACP Awards ceremonies, as well as the BET Awards in 2013. He has also appeared in several music videos of major stars, from Mariah Carey, to Michael Jackson, and Tupac Shakur. At the heart of it all, Tucker is a comedian, and these are the 7 funniest roles he’s taken on in movies.
7. House Party 3
House Party 3 was released in 1994 and features a large ensemble cast of popular African American stars. Chris Tucker made his official film debut as Johnny Booze in the comedy. House Party 3 served as the third in the five-part franchise. After stealing the scene in Def Comedy Jam, Tucker was tapped to appear in the star-studded film and he didn’t disappoint. Even though he had a minor role, Tucker and his character Johnny quickly became a fan favorite.
6. Rush Hour 3
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are a titan duo, thanks to the Rush Hour movies. In 2007, Inspector Lee and Detective Carter returned with their usual formula of slapstick action and hilarious moments. Much like the previous two installments, Rush Hour 3 was a huge financial success, and Tucker earned a staggering $25 million for his role in the movie. Rush Hour 3 saw the duo heading to Paris to uncover a secret relating to the Chinese triads. You may not laugh as loud as in the previous movies, but Chris Tucker’s comedic timing is still a standout. For several years, Chan and Tucker have been in talks to reprise their roles in a fourth installment.
5. Money Talks
Money Talks was released in 1997 to lukewarm reviews. However, Tucker was as funny as ever in the action comedy. He starred alongside Charlie Sheen as a car wash hustler named Franklin who owed a mobster money. Sheen took on the role of James Russell, an investigative reporter and Franklin’s ticket out of prison. Money Talks became a huge commercial success upon its release, despite the critical panning. However, the movie also planted the seed for Tucker’s relationship with director Brett Ratner. This partnership on Money Talks led to Chris Tucker’s starring role in the Rush Hour movies.
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4. Rush Hour 2
After the overwhelmingly positive reception of Rush Hour in 1998, Tucker’s career reached new commercial heights. As a result, he notably negotiated a whopping $20 million salary for the sequel. It all proved to be a winning strategy, however, because Rush Hour 2 became an even bigger commercial success than its predecessor. Chris Tucker’s list of movies he’s starred in has been financially profitable, but Rush Hour 2 takes the cake. It is the highest-grossing movie in his catalog. As expected, Tucker kept the jokes coming in the popular sequel.
3. Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook is the most critically acclaimed movie in Chris Tucker’s filmography. Although Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were the main stars, Tucker’s comedic supporting role was praised. The comedy-drama was especially heartwarming for the actor’s fans and well-wishers because it was his first film appearance in half a decade. In Silver Linings Playbook, Tucker starred as Danny McDaniels, a happy-go-lucky man with anxiety disorder. With limited screen time, Tucker still delivered his witty charms that delighted many viewers.
2. Rush Hour
In 1998, Chris Tucker was propelled to great fame off the success of Rush Hour. Tucker quickly became a household name after starring in the hilarious buddy cop comedy. Alongside Jackie Chan, the actor delivered several hilarious moments that made for timeless comedy gold. Besides becoming a critical darling, Rush Hour also performed really well at the box office. This commercial success eventually led to the release of Rush Hour 2.
While Friday was not a box office powerhouse like the films in the Rush Hour franchise, it’s one of the most acclaimed of all Chris Tucker’s movies. The buddy stoner comedy stars Ice Cube and Tucker as a pair of slackers who wind up owing a drug dealer money. Friday marked a shift in Hip Hop movies of the 90s. By providing a more comedic approach to the genre, Ice Cube served to show a softer and lighter side to the portrayal of the hood in film.