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Live Review: Chris Tucker

Friday 14 June 2013

Live Review: Chris Tucker

Tuesday, June 11
The Plenary, Melbourne, VIC

As a huge fan of his role in The Fifth Element playing the outrageous radio jock Ruby Rhod, and not so much of his roles playing alongside Jackie Chan in the Rush Hour series, I was expecting Chris Tucker's stand up show in Melbourne to be a bit of a mixed bag - but how wrong I was.
 
For a comedian that is certainly larger than life, perhaps his characters preceeded him; the most surprising aspect of his comedy set was the intensely personal nature of the subject matter. From growing up with a father that would 'whoop his ass' regularly, to his strict church-going mother and family members that have come out of the woodwork to claim they're desperate for money once they learned how much he earns per movie, this was ironically more Jerry Seinfeld than Eddie Murphy - who he admits he sometimes gets confused for.
 
But perhaps the most insightful, entertaining and personal stories were of his time with close friend Michael Jackson. Tucker spoke of sitting in Jackson's drawing room on the Neverland Ranch and looking out the window to see a giraffe walk past, or sitting in on a singing session with Jackson and Barry Gibb (of the BeeGees) and being told to go wait in the car by Jackson after 'ruining it' with his attempts at joining in. It helped that his impression of Jackson was pretty spot on.
 
We also saw casual impressions that took on Jackie Chan and President Clinton - the latter who would ask Tucker to bust out the impression on official visits because he found it so funny. These insights into what Tucker himself finds funny speaks of a class clown, now grown up - only rich, famous and with significantly important celebrity friends.
 
Possibly one of the more underrated of Hollywood's comedic character actors, it seems that although his set was so personal, somehow the outrageous magic of Ruby Rhod is only mere seconds away from Chris Tucker's many impressionistic ramblings. Perhaps, in the end, the character apple doesn't fall so far from the tree.
 
-Bianca O'Neill / @musicjourno

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