chris-tucker_web.jpgThe hilarious Chris Tucker was the glue that bound together performances by Bruce Bruce, Deray, Marvin Dixon, D.L. Hughley and former Rap City host Joe Claire last weekend at the 12th annual Zo’s Summer Groove Comedy Show. The show took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood on July 12, and featured something a little different from each of the comedians.

We’ll start with local favorite Marvin Dixon. He is one of the raunchiest comics you will ever hear. His raunch is far from disgusting, however. It is more like an older cousin who has had too much to drink at a family reunion.

Dixon performed well with a smooth, unpracticed delivery that added to the effectiveness of his punch lines. I’ve seen Dixon several times, and while some of his set was familiar, he pretty much had all new material.

This led to my only problem with the Heineken ZSG Mega Comedy Show. Sometimes, you can have just too many comics. Joe Claire was good but not great, and I’ve been trying to remember highlights from Jay Lamont’s set to no avail.

I think I have officially tired of D.L Hughley. The former King of Comedy just doesn’t make me laugh. To be fair, the audiences seemed to enjoy his jokes, some which have been heard several times before.

The cream of the crop at this year’s show was the host, Chris Tucker, and Bruce Bruce. Bruce really knows how to command a stage. From the moment he steps onto the stage, he controls the arena like a classroom. He lays out some important talking points, things that annoy, things that people shouldn’t do but do anyway, etc. Then he begins to mix in the punch lines.

Bruce has a collection of fat jokes that, I bet, would rival any other comedian. If you’ve never seen Bruce Bruce live, it’s a treat. He’s a heavy man dressed in intricately tailored suits. You wouldn’t think it to look at him but Bruce is apparently quite the ladies man. He offered advice to the young men in the audience on how to woo and keep a woman and, of course, comedy ensued.

Every time Chris Tucker opened his mouth I laughed. The guy is just naturally funny. I would say that half of what Tucker brings to the stage is his swagger, his image. His nasal delivery was a winner and his well-timed jokes kept the show moving along.

Hosting a comedy show is a difficult job. If a guy bombs, it’s the host who has to reenergize the audience for the next performer. If a guy kills, it’s the host’s job to amplify the audience’s euphoria. Tucker was a master host.

The Mega Show followed the comedy show playbook to a tee; A great host who  can cover flops and keep the crowd hyped, and a roster of diverse comics.

The show wasn’t cheap, with floor seats going for about $125, but the Summer Groove organizers gave audiences their money’s worth.