Chris Tucker: “The Best Comedy Comes From Pain”

… he says. “It’s real cool because there’s no limits. Nothing I can’t talk about.”

Well, except cursing. One of Tucker’s early influences was Robin Harris, best known for his role as Sweet Dick Willie in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Then there were Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. They all made their mark on Tucker early, but unlike those notoriously blue comics, Tucker tries to keep it clean these days.

In the old days, he used to be more liberal in his language. “I never was a raunchy, raunchy comic but I didn’t think about what I was saying because I was young,” he says. “Being a Christian helps me in comedy. I have to talk about other stuff. Normally, most comics talk about stuff that’s easy—maybe cussing or saying something raunchy. I have to dig deeper to find something that’s still funny and not raunchy. It’s harder. I like the challenge.”

It not only appeals to his personal sense of morality, he feels that being clean also sets him apart. “Everybody’s doing raunchy comedy,” Tucker says. “I go to comedy clubs and it’s like, ‘All right, how raunchy can you get?’ And it’s really not that funny to me. What’s funny to me is being creative and talking about stuff that I wouldn’t have thought about.”