A tall, smooth, wickedly funny African-American stand-up comedian, who starred in the hit movie “Friday” is making an appearance in Rochester tonight at the Auditorium Theatre. For those of you who thought it was Chris Tucker, you have been sorely misled. You will get a chance to see Mike Epps, however, the man responsible for primarily filling in for Tucker in the sequels “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next.”

Comedy has always played a major role in Epps’ life. He claims that a good sense of humor runs in his blood, saying that his father is a fool and that he probably just passed it down to him. As a kid Epps would spend his days riding around on his bike, testing his jokes on the people on the street. His sense for practical joking also landed him in trouble as a teenager.

Epps has been on the stand-up comedy scene for a little over a decade after being released from a juvenile detention center for a self-described prank that involved super glue. Upon release in Indiana, Epps got his start when he tried out for a stand-up contest at a local comedy. Soon after, he moved on to Atlanta, where he was noticed by members of Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam. They were so impressed by Epps’ comedic talents that he was asked to re-locate to New York City to become part of the Def Comedy Jam family.

In 1996, Epps took a brief break from his comedy routine to play a minor role in Vin Diesel’s directing debut “Strays.” By 1999, Epps had already become a household name in the stand-up comedy circle. Epps also appeared in an episode of The Sopranos in the same year, showing audiences that he was more than just a comedian. By then, several major players in the African-American entertainment industry began to take notice of Epps unique abilities. One of them was Ice Cube, the actor/rapper who was mainly responsible for bringing “Friday” to the big screen. Ice Cube followed Epps on his stand-up tour for several weeks and determined that he was the man who would assume Tucker’s role in “Next Friday.”

In the sequel, Epps plays Day-Day, a lazy, worthless man in his 20s, who devotes his life to getting high and stalking his ex-girlfriend and her sister.

Epps has been extremely active ever since appearing in the role that was his major breakthrough. He provided the voice of Sonny, in Eddie Murphy’s comedy “Dr. Do Little 2” in 2001. Also in the same year, he appeared in the comedy “How High” with rappers Method Man and Redman. He also joined Ice Cube for a role in the movie “All About the Benjamins” last year. Admission for the 7:30 show is $5.

Rybaltowski can be reached at mrybaltowski@campustimes.org.

Man shot by RPD officer during skirmish

A Rochester police officer shot a man Monday night after that man allegedly tackled and punched the officer before fighting…



Meliora Weekend speaker’s alleged transphobia sparks controversy, University response

Writer and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was announced as a Meliora Weekend speaker in June, and community concerns about her…