Chris Tucker is selective about what charity events he will emcee.
The Atlanta-based actor and stand-up comic decided to say yes to co-anchoring the Beloved Benefit fundraiser that happened at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday. It featured John Legend as the music guest and drew 2,000 attendees.
“It’s right up my alley,” said Tucker to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a phone interview just before the event began, noting how comparable it is to his own Chris Tucker Foundation, his eight-year-old group which also hands out grants to other non-profit groups. “It’s a great event to be part of.”
The annual fundraiser, which began in 2019, raised $8.8 million for eight groups working to eliminate disparities and promote economic mobility. (My colleague Mirtha Donastorg covered the event and provides more details here.) This is up from $6.3 million from last year’s event.
Tucker enjoys the challenge of blending scripted pleas to raise money with improv. “I like talking from my feelings and my soul about what’s going on,” he said. “I also like to focus on what’s happening in the moment. It can be a lot of fun. You want to get a feel for the crowd and get them behind you.”
Earlier this year, he played a Nike executive in the Michael Jordan film “Air,” his first movie role in seven years. He is embarking on a 31-city stand-up comedy tour this fall that does not include Atlanta, though he said he might add a date later. Currently, the closest city he’ll be at is Durham, North Carolina on Sept. 24.
As for the current writers and actors strike, Tucker said it is an important juncture point for Hollywood when it comes to artificial intelligence.
“We gotta make a living,” Tucker said. “Nothing should take the place of human creativity. When it comes to acting and writing, we have to be aligned. That line shouldn’t be crossed.”
Three weeks into “Big Brother” and both Georgia contestants have evaded the ax.
Felicia Cannon, who was Head of Household week three, is the oldest female “Big Brother” contestant in the show’s two-decade history at age 63 and has been playing a savvy game so far.
The Kennesaw realtor on the show said she thought that Hisam Goueli, the second week Head of Household and part of her own Professors alliance, was too heavy handed during his week under power. It didn’t help that Hisam won three competitions in a row. So she set it up for Hisam to be “backdoored,” a Big Brother phrase for being placed on the block without his prior knowledge, then unceremoniously booted by his peers.
Cameron Hardin, an affable, hirsute Eastman, Georgia stay-at-home dad, has been placed as a pawn two weeks in a row. He hasn’t particularly enjoyed being in that position and wasn’t able to take himself off the block. But he hasn’t received a single vote as two major targets (Reilly Smedley and Hisam) have been unanimous picks to go home.
With Hisam out the door, Cameron joined the now dominant Professors alliance, being a close ally of fellow Southerner Red Utley.
So far, with nearly one quarter of the competition over, four people are out and 13 remain for the $750,000 prize.
IF YOU WATCH
“Big Brother,” Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBS and available later on Paramount+. Pluto TV provides five 24/7 feeds.