Hearne: Chris Tucker Comeback Saga Unfolds @ Stanford’s

2014 Trumpet AwardsMake no mistake, Hollywood heavyweight Chris Tucker’s appearance at Stanford’s this weekend is a very big deal…

Say what you will about Tucker’s tax problems with the Internal Revenue Service and the 42 year-old “actor, comedian and humanitarian’s” somewhat stalled movie career, from the moment he hit the stage last night it was evident that this was no run of the mill comedy club show.

“Look at me. Look at me! I am the captain now,” Tucker told the audience in a nod to Tom Hanks hit movie Captain Phillips.

Dressed immaculately – unlike 99.9 percent of the comics who’ve graced Stanford’s stage, including heavyweights like Lewis Black – Tucker appeared larger-than-life in a black dress shirt and tie, black slacks, a burgundy silk brocade sport jacket and ultra-glossy, black patent leather shoes.

To say nothing of Tucker’s posse, consisting of a burly bodyguard and yes men.

“Thank you for supporting all the Rush Hour movies but Jackie Chan can get on my nerves,” he told the sold out crowd. “Calling me collect from Hong Kong…I love working with Charlie Sheen. Charlie Sheen makes me look good. Because I’d show up late for work and Charlie Sheen wouldn’t show up at all.”

I’d forgotten how bigTucker’s eyes can be – they’re huge – with gigantic dark pupils and massive white scleras. 

He talked about being single and laying down the law to women in his dating life.

“I say, ‘If you think something’s going to happen tonight, you’re wrong. I’m not that kind of celebrity.”

On disgraced foodie Paula Deen, “I feel bad for Paula Deen, don’t you feel bad for Paula Deen?” Tucker queried. “Paul Deen is rich. I think rich people can say whatever they want.”

As for the reportedly $12 million Tucker owes the IRS, “I have a tax problem,” he told the crowd. “I listened to the wrong people. That’s the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out on my taxes.”

Action star Snipes was released from prison last April after serving three years for reportedly failing to pay around $15 million on his earnings from 1999 to 2001.

“I made a lot of money, man,” Tucker continued. “I made a lot of money. And I thought it was all mine. I forgot about the IRS.”

4c1f69e5tda69c9ac45c3&690So after a relatively laid back seven years in show biz, Tucker is back in the hunt, presumably trying to raise money to pay off taxes and build back his nest egg.

At one point in his career he reportedly demanded and received $20 million for the second Rush Hour movie, then negotiated a $25 million, two-movie deal with New Line Cinema, including 20 percent of the gross receipts for Rush Hour 3, making him one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood at the time.

These days Tucker says he doesn’t like to talk about how much money he makes, but word on the street is he’d like to make a fourth Rush Hour with Chan and is working on an HBO special.

As Tucker started to talk about his friend Michael Jackson he paused and did a massive double take after realizing that the zipper on his pants was down.

“Michael was a genius, man,” Tucker continued. “He started calling me Christmas. The first time he called me that I didn’t know who he was talking to.”

Stanford’s is one of four clubs Tucker is visiting in an obvious effort to resurrect his standup shtick, probably for the HBO special. He appeared far trimmer than in Silver Linings Playbook and was obviously working at it quite hard to prepare for his big comeback.

It won’t be easy at the age of 43, which he turns in August, but from the looks of things, Chris Tucker is a man on a mission. And judging from the crowd reaction to his late show last night at Stanford’s, it’s a mission he very well could succeed in.

Now if he can just talk Jackie Chan into another Rush Hour movie. 

Unfortunately Chan announced two years ago that he was getting too old for action films…or at least the amazing stunts for which is famous. However it appears that Chan – and his stunt body double – are on board if they can come up with the right script.

Tucker returns to the stage at Stanford & Sons at The Legends in KCK for two shows tonight at 7:45 pm and 9:45 pm


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10 Responses to Hearne: Chris Tucker Comeback Saga Unfolds @ Stanford’s

  1. rkcal says:

    “Hollywood Heavyweight”? Let’s reverse this: Kansas City will be a big deal when an appearance by Chris Tucker isn’t considered one.

    • admin says:


      Clearly Tucker is in comeback mode. But there’s no denying he’s still a big name star. There’s no denying the significance of his role in Silver Linings Playbook.

      Where he goes from here is the question.

      As for him being a “big deal” here; you don’t get artists of Tucker’s stature on a small stage like Stanford’s. As Craig likes to say, there’s no arguing that

      • CG says:

        True that Hearne. I was impressed with Tucker as well. His singing knocked me out. Even Ida McBeth was blown away by his voice and talent.

        When you operate a comedy venue in a city like KC and bring in the top comedy talent that exists in the world, its tough to keep topping yourself. Stanfords, with rare exception, has introduced almost all the big names in comedy to our city. Including Dennis Miller, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry the Cable Guy and Ellen D. Yet you still get a few negative comments on ANYONE you bring in of that stature. ANYONE.

        However most KC folks are happy about it and have given us great support. Next April Stanfords will be 40 years old in KC. We opened in Westport in 1975. Damn.

        Chris Tucker is another name in the long list of stars on their way up, down or sideways we have landed over the years. Yes we are all proud of that fact.

        Look Chris could have gone anywhere he wanted and sold out. Even on Easter Weekend which is one of the slowest due to the family holiday. We only had a weeks notice to promote the show. I’m sure he could have done a theater or the Improv or anything he wanted, so choosing us was very cool.

        The only two names of huge, I mean huge stars we never had are Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Both now deceased. Its hard to name another monster name we didn’t have. We continue to look for comedy stars that rarely if ever do clubs, but we pride ourselves in finding new talent like Jim Jefferies, Lisa Lampanelli, Kat and Larry, who were total unknowns when we had them first and second and third and so on…

        This past year we brought in several rare comedy club names, Tom Arnold, Louie Anderson, Chris Kataan and in June Steve O from Jack Ass.

        Tucker will receive the largest payday for our club in its near 40 year history. Topping Damon Wayon’s return to comedy in 98, Dennis Miller and even Lewis Black’s opening Stanfords at Legends while the hottest star out there in 07. So Chris is doing just fine.

  2. rkcal says:

    The quotes from Tucker make it sound like a “remember when” tour. Look, my comment was not meant to denigrate Stanfords , or even Chris Tucker, really. I’m glad everybody’s enjoying it and making money. It’s just a shame that landing a Chris Tucker gig in KC is considered a real coup. I get that it is. Be nice if it wasn’t.

    • admin says:

      Well, I see your point, rkcal…

      But the fact is that we’re not New York or LA and there’s nothing to ashamed about getting jazzed about a cool gig hitting town.

      Actually, LA & NYC are not getting Tucker. And when and if they do, odds are it may not be in as intimate a venue as Stanford’s. I mean, he was inches to feet away from the audience.

      KC has always had a bit of an inferiority complex…that we’re not as good as the really big cities, that we’re a cow town but whatever anybody does, please don’t call us that.

      My take: We are what we are, why not accept it and not worry about it?

      What would be so nice about thinking Chris Tucker playing an intimate comedy club gig was no big deal? Because we get so many huge acts that it was meaningless, a yawn?

      It was a cool deal, nobody is going over-the-moon about it – it just is what it is.

  3. does Jimmy Walker say Dynomite and cry inside too says:

    Did he say his Friday catchphrase? I ask because it IS our High holy holiday. Plus he had a period where he decided he was ‘born again’ and too good for smoky clubs and weed references.


    • CG says:

      He doesn’t say one cuss word. His show is one of the best I’ve seen for a major star. He did it all. If you saw his show you more than got your money’s worth. He loved our city and will be back. He also is now in great shape, looks 30, trim and hey he looks and acts like, “Chris Tucker.” Fun weekend.

  4. paulwilsonkc says:

    Guys, I’m gonna stand up for Craig here; I jab at him in a story here and there but I do so in fun. I think he’s done a yeoman’s job in this market. We aren’t LA or NY but he’s brought in comedians on their way up, while they were on top AND after, all while delivering a great product in KC where others have failed.
    And he’s made it on his terms, being who he is in a field he loves and NOT an easy one.
    I went there with David Naster years ago for his traditional Thanksgiving show he used to do. I met and had a great discussion with Lewis Black when he was already a pretty big deal. For the room and the market, Craig’s brought some great entertainment to this city.
    The rest is his schtick. We all have one. Accept it for what it is and look past that to what he’s managed to accomplish in a tough industry.
    He gets my vote on this one.

  5. Goose13 says:

    Saw the Saturday 9:45 show. It was excellent. Chris Tucker did an outstanding job. last time I was at Stanford’s, it was in Westport with Bobby Slayton. Both times, staff was excellent. Even did a good job dealing with that drunk girl that was yelling and Chris, which was much appreciated since we were sitting behind her. Everybody was excited to see him. It was good to have a good laugh like I had on Saturday night. People bust your chops on here CG, this should not be one of them. Good job getting Chris Tucker, and hats off to you and your staff.

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