Mike Epps versus Chris Tucker is a debate between two titans of the Black comedy in the 1990s. Epps got his big acting break in 2000’s Next Friday, playing Day-Day Jones, the sidekick to Ice Cube’s Craig Jones. Meanwhile, Tucker got his break in the first Friday film in 1995. Later in the decade, Tucker would become well-known for his starring role in the Rush Hour films alongside Jackie Chan.
Both men had a crucial role in the Friday franchise. Furthermore, both men had helped define comedy for a generation of people. But who was funnier? There are arguments for both but now Ice Cube has weighed in on the debate.
Ice Cube Backs Epps Over Tucker
“Mike, to me, is funnier, just as a pure comic,” Cube said. Furthermore, he acknowledged that they wouldn’t have had Epps’ Day-Day if Tucker hadn’t left the Friday franchise after the first film. “Yeah, I’m glad he didn’t do it,” Cube said. “‘Cause we wouldn’t have Mike.” Furthermore, Tucker was reportedly offered $12 million to reprise his role as Smokey but declined over “religious reasons.” Cube elaborated on this, explaining that, “Yeah, we wanted him,” he said. “He turned it down. You’ll hear a thousand different stories, but we wanted to pay him $12 million to do that movie and he turned it down. He said it was for religious reasons…He didn’t wanna cuss and he didn’t wanna smoke weed on camera.”
Meanwhile, Tucker gave his own version of events in 2021. “I never really told people this ’cause I kinda forgot about it … I didn’t want to represent everybody smoking weed,” he said. “I kind of made it more personal than a movie … I wanted to move on because when I did something, I never wanted to do it again. Back then, I was all about going to the next level. I had a good sense of like, ‘OK, now it’s time to go do an action movie.’”
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