Chris Tucker

Delta 1022, SFO to LAX, 9:03 a.m.

The night before this flight, I was performing for 20,000 people at the Shoreline Amphitheatre just outside San Francisco. I don’t think that’s a great size for stand-up. Stand-up is an intimate art form. Two hundred seats is really the best if you want to experience stand-up in its purest form. In a small room you can connect with everyone there. The audience picks up on every nuance of your performance. It’s almost like you’re at a dinner party. In an amphitheater you’re “pressing play” on your act. The space is so massive that the audience watches you on a jumbotron, the same screen they’d watch a football game on in a stadium. It takes some getting used to. This was one of the first times I’d done a show of this size.

Dave Chappelle was the main attraction at the Shoreline, but there were a bunch of comics on before him. The show was so big and long that they split it into two acts with an intermission. Chris Tucker closed out the first half. He crushed. I had the fun of going on right before Dave. You know, the last guy of the guys they don’t want to see before the guy they really want to see. It kind of, well, wasn’t that fun, but we can get into that later.

The next morning, I was at the San Francisco airport, which I have come to despise. You will not arrive or leave on time about 100 percent of the time you fly in to or out of there. It’s taken me years to figure out that you must use Oakland’s airport when you’re visiting SF. Trust your boy, that’s a pro tip.

At the gate in San Francisco awaiting my flight to Los Angeles I see that Chris Tucker is seated with headphones on, the universal sign for “don’t fucking talk to me.” I have immense respect for that, just to be clear. (Pro tip: Wear headphones at the airport and on all flights and just ignore everyone who speaks to you.) I did want to talk to him. I had been a big fan for years and now I had done a show with him, but I wasn’t going to break the headphones rule and start a conversation at that moment. That would have gone against everything I believe in.

I boarded first and sat in my seat, 3B, an aisle seat in first class. Who sits directly next to me? Chris Tucker. Even then I didn’t feel the opening to engage him, so I didn’t. I read a car magazine and thought maybe we’d talk later if there was an appropriate moment. As we took off I was lost in the article I was reading, and then I heard a very distinct voice, his voice: “Should I do another Rush Hour?”

Go back and read that again if you need to. My first thought was that Chris Tucker was talking on the phone to his agent as our plane was departing SFO and he wanted the man’s opinion on whether or not he should do this. Another moment passed, and I thought maybe he was talking to the guy behind me. I had seen him at the gate with another guy, so it’d make sense if they were talking as we flew. Just to confirm what was actually happening, I looked up, and Chris Tucker was looking directly at me. Keep in mind I was a stranger to him at this point. Chris had left during intermission, so he never saw me. He had no idea we had done a show together the night before, and the first thing he was saying before even a hello is “Should I do another Rush Hour?”

I was so stunned at his greeting that I answered as sincerely as one could, “I… don’t know.”

He went on. “Yeah, I was in Beijing last week. I was walking down the street and I saw Jackie Chan and he said, ‘What are you doin’ here?’ And I said, ‘I’m here to see you!’”

Almost as if it were scripted, I swear on all that is holy, I said, “Sounds like the next Rush Hour to me.” He looked forward and then back to me. “I think you’re right!”

Two weeks later the trades announced that they were indeed going to film another Rush Hour film for the franchise. I’m not gonna lie, I like to think my little convo with Chris played a part. I don’t think an associate producer title is out of the question.


With Chris Tucker. And also this is the fattest I’ve ever been in my life.

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