- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 27, 2016

In the latest film-to-TV transition, the buddy cop comedy “Rush Hour” is heading to a television set near you. Premiering on CBS March 31, the series recasts Jon Foo and Justin Hires in the film roles portrayed by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, respectively.

Mr. Hires, a native of Florida, moved first to Atlanta and then to Los Angeles to follow his dream of being a stand-up comedian. He pressed his nose to the grindstone for years in L.A.’s notoriously grueling nighttime club circuit, where comics are stingy with their laughter should “industry” be in the house. Mr. Hires says of paying his dues that it is part of the tradecraft of comedy, one heroes of his, such as Eddie Murphy, likewise had to do.

“I finally got to the point where” people would look at him for pilot season, Mr. Hires told The Washington Times.

He did some work on “Key and Peele” and other TV shows before being called in to audition for Detective James Carter on “Rush Hour.” Shooting a whole season’s worth of episodes, he said, was grueling, as was his physical fitness regimen.

“I got to the point where I was doing 600 pushups a day,” Mr. Hires smiled, clearly proud of his dedication but veering just this side of boastful. He did this for “all the scenes where they had me take my shirt off.”

Mr. Hires is hopeful that audiences who gravitated to the films will likewise give the TV show a chance. Mr. Hires has even met Mr. Tucker but has been conscious to make his take on Det. Carter his own.

Mr. Hires also aims to do more standup comedy during the show’s hiatus and while awaiting to see if it will get picked up for a second season.

“I’ll be back in D.C.,” he said.

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