ON A SATURDAY NIGHT IN MAY, Jamie Foxx was booked to play the Majestic Theatre in Dallas for his last show in an eleven-month national tour. It was a big night for the star of the WB network’s The Jamie Foxx Show: His performance was being taped, hopefully for an upcoming comedy special, and beyond that, it was a homecoming of sorts. The thirty-year-old grew up down the road in Terrell, and Dallasites sporting pale blue suits with leopard collars, pink suits with black shirts, and sequined dresses of every conceivable color enthusiastically filed in to greet him.
A few minutes before nine, clad in a fitted royal blue velveteen shirt and white trousers, Foxx strode out to center stage with the self-assurance of someone who knew he would soon be entertaining 1,600 fans. And, indeed, within the first sixty seconds, he had the entire house on its feet, dancing and calling out to him. Between bits of rousing commentary and even some singing, he offered up the sort of rapid-fire, dead-on impressions that won him raves on the FOX network’s early nineties variety show In Living Color. He did slain rap stars Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, actor Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby as a gangster, and an absurdly beatific Jesse Jackson. He slowed for a second, fixing the crowd with a smile. “Should I do Farrakhan? Should I?” He made them beg with applause and finally ripped into the Nation of Islam leader with an idiotic grin and absurd falsetto. He was even able to pull off O.J. material that would by now seem stale from other comics. He had the loping walk down perfect, the wave, the golf swing. “I just don’t see how he could do it in front of his children,” he cracked, “but kids do get on your goddam nerves.”
Foxx was such a hit that one had to wonder why, at a landmark venue featuring a well-known comic with credits on TV ( In Living Color) and in the movies ( Booty Call), so few white faces were in the audience. The main reason is that