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Chris Tucker Heads to Africa – With Cold Fries
By Herschel J. Grangent, Jr.

Some have said laughter is a tie that can bind all nations.

Actually, no one ever said that.

But on December 3, 2007, that seemed to be the case as international visitors and passengers gathered in a gate hold area on Concourse E to catch a glimpse of comedian/actor Chris Tucker.

Actor Chris Tucker (L) and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young (R)

Tucker was a Delta Air Lines passenger on its inaugural flight to Lagos, Nigeria. “I think Atlanta is the best city in the world, and [Hartsfield-Jackson] is the best airport in the world,” said Tucker. “I’m excited about going to Africa and being a part of this [historic flight].”

The wide-body Boeing 767-300ER aircraft was filled to capacity, and the passenger list also included U.S. Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.

As the only major American air carrier to fly to Africa, Delta used the flight as a springboard to continue building on its existing routes to Ghana, Senegal and South Africa.

Whether Tucker’s fans were rushing to catch a flight or not, the celeb watchers instantly recognized the “Rush Hour” star and stopped to catch a glimpse. Saddled with a bag of food and large soft drink from McDonald’s on Concourse E, Tucker, a Decatur native, graciously put his meal aside to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

When he finally boarded the plane and told his fries were probably inedible, Tucker pretended to scoff in anger, but softened quickly into a chuckle.

“I know man,” he said in that Chris Tucker trademark fashion. “But it’s OK, I don’t mind.”

He laughed again and went on to say, “As long as the person sitting next to me doesn’t talk all the way to Africa and lets me sleep, I’ll be OK!” Tucker was scheduled to return to Atlanta on December 7.

© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.


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