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Smokey is "the perpetually stoned, comical character immortalized on screen hy Chris Tucker" from the 1995 film Friday.[1] As Kelley L. Carter explains, "Smokey was the breakthrough role that made Tucker a cult favorite..."[2]


DevelopmentEdit

Smokey is "so named for his constant marijuana" use.[3]

Character backrgoundEdit

Smokey is a drug dealer working for supplier Big Worm (Faizon Love). Smokey, however, is a heavy marijuana smoker himself. Mostly talkative, dishonest, and never takes things too seriously, he serves as the comic foil to his friend Craig Jones (Ice Cube). His most memorable catch-phrase in the film was "YOU GOT KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!" and it has been subsequently used by other characters in the two sequels.

DepictionEdit

In FridayEdit

Smokey makes his entrance in the film by entering Craig's bedroom window, shouting at him to come outside. The two spend a Friday afternoon together, which consists of listening to music while Smokey gets high, chasing after the neighborhood pest Lil Chris, (who is known for knocking over people's trash cans), making a small trip to the corner store, and hiding their belongings from neighborhood bully Deebo (Tom Lister, Jr.), who intimidates Smokey into breaking into a neighbor's house to steal $200 (of which Deebo takes all the money). Aware that Craig was fired "on his day off", Smokey gets him to smoke some of the marijuana that he is supposed to be selling for Big Worm, in an attempt to "stimulate his mind". Later in the day, Big Worm pays a visit to the boys' neighborhood. Smokey tells him that they smoked up all of his supply. Big Worm then threatens Smokey, saying if they don't pay him the money they owe him by 10 PM, he would kill both of them. Craig and Smokey make up strategies to see how they could come up with the money. Craig asks his mother Betty (Anna Maria Horsford) and sister Dana (Regina King) and they both turn him down. Craig's father Willie (John Witherspoon), find out about the threat Big Worm sent to Smokey and he kicks him out of the house, but Craig follows him, bringing his pistol with him, to lend Smokey some safety as they head back to his house. They go outside and see a van, which contains Big Worm's friends, who have machine guns, and fire them at Craig and Smokey. Craig fires back with a pistol but misses. To avoid the gang, the boys then hide in a pick-up truck. On their way back to the neighborhood, Deebo beats up Debbie's sister Felisha in a display of domestic violence, and then slaps Debbie. This angers Craig and he and Deebo get into a fight. Craig eventually wins, with Smokey by his side, shouting "That's my dog!" after Craig knocked Deebo out. As the people clear away from the site of the fight, Smokey runs up to an unconscious Deebo and steals the money he stole out of Stanley's house, shouting "Payback's a muthafucka, ain't it,nigga?!" at him and runs off. The film ends with Smokey in his room talking to Big Worm on the telephone talking about the events that occurred on that day. Smokey finally tells Big Worm that he has his money and he is going to rehab. He then lights up a joint and says: "I was just bullshittin', and you know this......MAN!"

In Next FridayEdit

Smokey does not appear in the sequel. Craig, upon his arrival in Rancho Cucamonga, explains, through narration, that Smokey actually went to rehab a week ago. Craig doesn't want to leave the neighborhood because he'll miss Smokey too much. In the film Craig's cousin Day-Day Jones (Mike Epps) fills in the void as the new comic sidekick. During stand-up show on August 26, 2006 at the Flint Center in Cupertino, CA, Tucker admits that he would get a lot of heat from fans, asking him why he did not appear in any of the sequels to Friday. Tucker explained that he did not appear in those sequels because he never got fully paid for the first movie. Tucker would add that Ice Cube attempted to pay him with some CD's and a bag of weed.

In Friday After NextEdit

Smokey does not appear in the film, neither is he mentioned.

In Friday: The Animated SeriesEdit

The character "Smokey" returns after a 12 year absence (since 1995). He was the supporting protagonists of the short lived series.

ReceptionEdit

Kenny Attaway declares, "Laughing at 'Smokey', played by Chris Tucker, in Friday, was the first time I had actually 'really' laughed since early October 1994 because it was not forced."[4] As Darryl Littleton puts it, it "was the character of Smokey that not only stole the film, but made an overnight star out of Chris Tucker..."[5] Heidi Siegmund Cuda explains further that "Chris Tucker went from zero to $2O-million-a-flick hero in a puff of Smokey after his outrageously funny performance in Friday."[6]

In 1996, Chris Tucker was nominated for three MTV Movie Awards for his performance as Smokey in the categories of Best Breakthrough Performance, Best Comedic Performance, and Best On-Screen Duo.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Mark Allwood, Kenji Jasper, and Ytasha Womack, Beats, rhymes & life (2007), 61.
  2. Kelley L. Carter, "No 'Friday' sequel Chris Tucker is back on stage.(Interview)," Detroit Free Press (September 06, 2006).
  3. Gale Group and Shirelle Phelps, Contemporary Black Biography, v. 13 (1996), 215.
  4. Kenny Attaway, In the Arms of Baby Hop (2006), 175.
  5. Darryl Littleton, Black comedians on Black comedy (2006), 268.
  6. Heidi Siegmund Cuda, "Who Stole the Soul?" in Vibe (Apr 2002): 142.
  7. "1996 MTV Movie Awards," MTV.com.

External linksEdit


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