Chris Tucker is back, y’all! We hope to God! It’s hard to believe the actor and comedian hasn’t been in a movie since 2007 (Rush Hour 3) or that he has been in only three movies since 1997 (just the Rush Hour series!), but unless IMDb is run by a pack of liars, we’re forced to accept it as truth. Luckily, Tucker is finally making his big screen comeback in this week’s Silver Linings Playbook. In case you weren’t sure how to feel yet, you should be very. Very. Very. Excited.
In case you’d forgotten (or, you know, never knew), Chris Tucker first blew up doing stand-up on Def Comedy Jam in the early ’90s. Landing a few minor film roles lead to his classic turn as Smokey in Friday in 1995. He latter appeared in Panther and Dead Presidents before landing what is probably his defining role, the manic, hypersexual radio DJ Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element. What other man can make off-the-shoulder cheetah print look good? Who? We demand to know his name!
Tucker subsequently appeared in Money Talks, Jackie Brown, the three Rush Hours and that is it. How is that even possible? How could such a staple of our adolescence have made only a handful of movies? How have we not realized the magnitude of our love for Ruby Rhod before this exact second? Chris Tucker’s panicked screams still echo in our minds and hearts.
Maybe we should look at it this way: as a result of not doing a lot of movies, Chris Tucker doesn’t have a lot of bad movies in his oeuvre. It’s like he just skipped over playing a dentist that communicates with friendly bees, or a dad who has to pretend to be his own baby to win back his ex-wife, or whatever chaff would have to be separated from the wheat that is The Fifth Element and Friday. He’s basically a ’90s Eddie Murphy, without the Klumps.
So where has Chris Tucker been all our (adult) lives? His career slowed in the 2000s, and he racked up some serious debt with the government. He even joked about owing $11.5 million to the IRS when he returned to stand-up last year. Which begs the question: Is Chris Tucker actually pulling a Nic Cage by coming out of retirement just to make some money? If he is, we are more than okay with that. Just as we will enjoy Cage in Kick-Ass 2, so too will we enjoy Tucker in Silver Linings Playbook. The man has signed a two-picture deal with New Line Cinema, so take a moment now to remember Chris Tucker. Love him. Cherish him. Follow him on Twitter, and say a prayer that we might always understand the words that are coming out of his mouth.