By Jess Washington
Today I had the pleasure of chatting with 2-Time Emmy Award Winner and comedy icon, Tracy Morgan. Tracy is in the DFW for his tour “No Disrespect” which will be on Friday the 22nd at Texas Trust CU Theater in Grand Prairie. We talked about his 30+ years of success, how he stands out from the rest and what we can see from him in the future.
Our conversation started with laughs. Like any writer I had my line up but I decided to interject that I appreciate his contribution to the industry for the past 30 years. Tracy immediately said “what did you say!?!” I followed up to confirm his first TV show, Uptown Comedy Club, which aired it’s first episode in 1992. He followed up to tell me that his actual first comedy gig was in 1991, so immediately thanked him for thirty one years of comedy, which made him chuckle again as he was taking it all in.
My first memory of Tracy Morgan was his infamous role on Martin as “Hustle Man.” Let’s be real, those jokes still hold up. When you see his work on SNL, 30 Rock and The Last O.G., you see timelessness. You’ve also heard his comedy on shows like Crank Yankers and Squidbillies, with his extensive work in voice acting. The Brooklyn native has a way of analyzing the same things we see every day – good and bad – and finding humor that we can all understand. Morgan placed emphasis on this when I asked about #cancelculture and how the landscape of comedy is shifting. He made it clear that he has always played by his own rules, defying political correctness and social norms since inception. These “fears” are not applicable to him. When you go to see a Tracy Morgan show, he’s going to give 100% of himself and it “will hit you in the gut!”
Circling back to how it all started, we talked about where that “rawness” comes from. Despite the jokes, the comedic genius is well aware of the issues people face in the hood and on a global scale. And Tracy doesn’t run from his past. He speaks of his days selling crack in his neighborhood with some friends and that being one of his biggest regrets in life. Noting that the very reason he got into comedy full time was on the advice of his best friend who was murdered literally one week after telling Morgan to fulfill his comedy dream. Tracy took his guardian angel’s advice and the rest as they say is history.
I saw Tracy Morgan’s stand up for the first time about 15 years ago and I asked if there was anything he loved about the DFW. His biggest love for Dallas is the fans. He takes all of his experiences with him back to his people in Brooklyn and here soon will be giving his gift of comedy to his fans in the motherland of Africa. One thing he didn’t play around with is the Texas heat. He jokingly assured me that he will take no parts of anything that is outdoors. It’s all about climate control these days!
All in all Tracy Morgan wants his DFW fans to know that he can’t wait to see them and they need to get ready for an amazing show! Even after the Friday show, you can catch Tracy Morgan, and his daughter Maven Sonae, on the Shark Week series, starting July 24th on Discovery.