Tracy Morgan Isn’t Changing a Thing
Tracy Morgan considers himself to be very fortunate. But he’s not lucky. As he tells me on the phone, “Luck is for losers.”
The Saturday Night Live alum and 30 Rock scene-stealer has made his return to the stage two years after a car accident that left him in a coma with a traumatic brain injury and took the life of a close friend, fellow comedian James McNair. After a long recovery, Morgan made his first big appearance at the 2015 Emmys, stepping up to the mic to a standing ovation. A few weeks later he returned to his old stomping grounds to host SNL, and earlier this year kicked off his Picking Up the Pieces standup tour.
Morgan approaches our conversation about the King of Prussia stop of the tour with his signature loose style, though he’s quick to tell me to move on when the interview touches on topics he doesn’t want to discuss. Those include politics (he isn’t interested) and an upcoming film with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day (he doesn’t want to jinx it).
As for the accident, he’ll discuss it — and brings it up in his act — but doesn’t want to dwell on it anymore. “I’m not afraid to talk about it,” he says. “But I’m tired of crying about it.” Instead, Morgan says, come out to see him and he promises “truckloads of funny.”
So is it safe to say you’re tired of talking about the accident, especially in interviews?
I’m not tired of talking about it; it’s something that happened. In my act I talk about it. But … [I]t was two years ago and I’ve really moved on. I laugh about things now — not the accident, but things that happen in my life. I don’t want that to be my whole life. My life wasn’t just the accident; I had a life before that too. But how can you not talk about something like that? You ever been in a coma?
I’m lucky I’ve never had an experience anything like that.
You’re not lucky, you’re fortunate. Luck is for losers. You’re fortunate to be here. Just like me. I tell people all the time I’m very fortunate to be here.
But you do talk about the accident in your show?
I talk about it. I tell you how I survived. Because that can be an inspiration to others. And if I’m an inspiration to others than I’m fine with that.
Who do you get inspiration from?
The world, life. God. I get inspiration from a guy who’s paralyzed in a wheelchair, and now out here living a normal life, out here making it happen. I’m inspired by the person who’s blind and still walking the streets. I’m inspired by the things around me. I’m inspired by life.
Do you feel like your comedy, your standup style, has changed at all?
No, funny is funny. Funny doesn’t change. It’s not about the material, it’s about the gift. The gift is funny. Life is the material, life is what’s happening. But funny is funny. Why would I change my swing in the ninth inning?
For people who know you best from 30 Rock, will they be surprised by your show? Does your standup have a similar feel to your TV character?
No, standup and TV are two very different things. My standup is personal. TV is some stuff somebody else wrote. If you’re coming to see Tracy Jordan, you should stay your ass home, because Tracy Morgan is coming to town. This ain’t got nothing to do with 30 Rock or Saturday Night Live. This is my standup. This is my foundation.
What else do you have going on now? You recently wrapped the film Fist Fight, with Ice Cube and Charlie Day?
I don’t like to talk about that stuff because I don’t like to jinx it.
You’ve performed in the Philadelphia area before. Do you have any opinion on the crowds here?
No, I don’t have an opinion. I think people are people all over the world. Funny is funny. I don’t care if you live in Alaska, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m just bringing my funny. Why would I have an opinion on the people sitting before me, who paid for tickets to come see me? I don’t have no opinion on them. I think they’re great. I don’t care if you’re in Alaska, or Philly, or New York – I don’t care where you are, as long as you have a sense of humor.
Last question: Have you decided who you’re voting for in November?
Nobody. I never voted in my life.
Tracy Morgan is at Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia on Saturday, October 15th. Tickets are here.
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