| Comedy |

Chris Tucker Broods Over IRS Debt at the Fillmore

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You can hardly blame Chris Tucker for being a little distracted during his show Saturday night at the Fillmore Miami Beach. If we owed the IRS $11 million, we'd probably be preoccupied too. But unlike Tucker, we don't have huge hilarious bulging eyeballs to effortlessly smooth over glitches in our work. If we did, we probably wouldn't bother staying up till three in the morning trying to make deadline. But we digress.

We walked in at around 8 p.m., as Tucker's opening act, London Brown, was winding down his set. The skinny young guy in a fitted suit jacket and too-short pant legs hovering over bright white Nikes was apparently having some trouble adjusting to the Miami weather.

"We black people, we don't do heat like that," he said. "We make

fans out of anything. We be at our cousin's funeral, and we'll take the

obituary and fold it up in a second."


Tucker himself arrived through a slit in the dark purple curtain at the

back of the stage. Many audience members stood to greet the man of the

hour, though it's a miracle we were able to see this transpire, so

blinded were we by Tucker's delightfully garish orange suit, complete

with two (yes, two) fat satin orange ties and a rhinestone-studded white

shirt. Holy hell, what an outfit.

He pleased

the crowd by pandering with a few Cuban-themed jokes, like "Cubans hate

Castro! What he do, take all your shit and make you leave the country?"


a lotta homeless people here," he said. "You ever accidentally give

someone money who wasn't homeless? I did that once. The guy said, 'What

you doing, I ain't homeless, I'm just resting down here.' I said, 'Well

get some better clothes! You're confusing people!'"


talked candidly about the financial problems he was facing. Well, as

candidly as a world-famous comedian can talk about anything.


the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out with my taxes," he said. A

moment later, he joked that he was so bad with money that he'd bought

two houses right next to each other and then ended up going door to door

asking himself if he could borrow a cup of sugar.


he described his unnaturally passionate bill collectors. "They calling

you acting like you owe them the money personally! 'We need the money,'"

he mocked sternly. "I don't owe you shit! This is between me and the


He seemed to get so wrapped up in the

anxiety of his IRS debt that he ended up losing his train of thought.

Maybe he was trying to count in his head how much money he was making

per minute of comedy.

Luckily, he's got plenty of fail-safe material to fall back on in times like these. In this case, he used the Friday movies as his parachute pad. The "Smokey" references were an instant hit. "Cube didn't pay us nothing for that movie," he said. "I think he gave us some CDs and some weed or something."

This brought him back to his financial problems once again. The lament this time? Having to fly first class instead of coach. "You

get in first, and they set you up with some champagne and shrimp, and

you're all comfy and stuff, and what do they do? They let the coach

people in and make you feel all guilty," he began. He put his hand on

his hip, imitating a mocking coach-class passenger. "Well la-ti-da, look

at all this!"

Another bane of commercial flights? Overly inquisitive white people. "Excuse me, Snoop Doggy Dogg? Where you going?" he recounted in a nasal whisper.


he launched into tales of his dysfunctional upbringing, he seemed to

really lose himself in his material. We laughed so hard we feared oxygen

deprivation as he related how his tough mama left her five-year-old son

at the mall overnight to teach him a lesson about following


His physical comedy was equally

hysterical. He seamlessly channeled not only his no-nonsense mother, but

also his lamenting beggar father and uncle, and animals including a

roach, a bird, and a cheetah.

Tucker made his

love for deceased friend Michael Jackson very clear, going so far as to

do his (not funny) interpretation of Jackson's "Human Nature" for the

packed house. At that point we wished he'd have followed the advice he

said Jackson himself had at one point imparted to him: "Stick to comedy,


Yeah, there were a few hiccups in the

show, but Tucker did make sure there was something for everyone,

covering everything from his visit to Nigeria with former President

Clinton, to the melodramatic "praise team" at his childhood church.


make the show? No worries. With the deficit he's got to work off for

Uncle Sam, Tucker, who hasn't made a movie since 2011, will probably be

gracing the big screen in Rush Hour 4, 5 and 6 before you know it. In

fact, it's rumored he's in pre-production on a new film right now.

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