The best comedians have always excelled at mining their own character defects for material. And more often than not, those defects, combined with celebrity excess, have made for some epic fails. Richard Pryor made fun of catching himself on fire while smoking crack. Martin Lawrence turned his own wigged-out weed episodes into stand-up gold. And although Chris Tucker's struggle has been less an indictment against his character than that of his accountant, he hasn't been shy about making his own IRS woes the butt of his jokes since returning to the stage in recent years.
"IRS got me doing the BET Awards, I ain't gon' lie," the Decatur native said during his opening monologue at last night's 2013 BET Awards, filmed in L.A. (See "Host Chris Tucker brings comedy back" above.) "They make me sick. They back there right now counting my money and eating chicken."
Though he still owes the Feds more than $11.5 million in back taxes, his debt with the state of Georgia has reportedly been paid to the tune of $592,594.82 for 2007 and $392,332.16 for 2006.
"Pay your taxes and don't listen to the wrong people," Tucker continued onstage last night. "That's the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me with my taxes. He told me and Ron Isley the same thing."
At least he still has the Midas touch when it comes to picking Hollywood hits. Though he declined to reprise his breakout role as Smokey in what Ice Cube says will be the last of the Friday franchise (Last Friday), his return to the big screen after five years as a supporting character in last year's Academy Award-winning Silver Linings Playbook proved fruitful. Variety recently reported that he's set to executive produce and star in Second Honeymoon, which sounds like one of those romantic comedy/adventure romps, per the description. He reportedly was also up for the lead role in Django, too, if you can imagine that.
As for his current financial status, Tucker suggested that he's reeled in his spending habits now. He even joked of pooling his limited resources with a couple of other Atlantans who've known sweeter times.
"I'm cutting down now. I'm not buying no bunch of stuff. Me, Toni Braxton, and Jermaine Dupri getting an apartment together."
As for the general concensus on his hosting duties and jokey jokes? Well, Twitter went in, as usual, but some showed love:
He didn't ask for any of this. She took it upon herself to start this…
Not a huge fan of the ankle cuff sneakers that Serena (and KD) are wearing…
Kind of strange that some random lady started a GoFundMe for that kid. I'm curious…
Can Tim Lee get any more pitiful?
Are my nards going to get irradiated?