Tracy Morgan Talks




Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan wants you to know he’s just a normal guy who likes to play with his kids and make people laugh. He doesn’t care who wins the Super Bowl (“I’m just looking forward to watching the game,” he says) and when he’s relaxing, you can expect him to be listening to Curtis Mayfield or Gladys Knight and the Pips (“I love ‘Superfly’ and ‘The Making of You’”). Morgan, 45, is a veteran of Saturday Night Live where he was known for his roles as Brian Fellow, Uncle Jemima, Dominican Lou and Astronaut Jones. Having finished up an incredibly successful seven-year run with the NBC hit comedy 30 Rock, (in a role which garnered him an Emmy nomination and two Image award nominations) Morgan is now reconnecting with his roots in stand-up comedy. He’s coming to Gypsies Lounge at the Mount Airy Casino and Resort on Saturday, Feb. 1. While Morgan wants you to know that he’s just a normal guy, he also advises you to leave your children home when you come to see his act (more on that in a bit).
What can audience members expect to see this Saturday night? “My act,” Morgan says, “is just me. I’m funny (laughs). I’m talking about life experience, what I’ve been through. I’m just going to do some commentary, talk about me, what I see, what I’m doing.”
He says he doesn’t have any pre-show backstage rituals. “I’m not a superstitious guy or anything. When I’m backstage, I’m just going over my material and getting ready to get out there. I mean, I’m not out there giving speeches. It’s not brain surgery. I’m just communicating. I keep it real; I keep it normal. I’ve been doing this for 22 years. I love it. I love it.”
When he’s not on stage, he just likes to spend time with his family, comprised of two daughters and sons and his second wife, model Megan Wollover, with whom he just had a daughter this past year. “When I get done on stage, I like to just relax and get some solitude, and then it’s playing with my wife and kids. I keep it very normal.”
Morgan keeps it normal in his everyday life, certainly, but given his past scrapes with controversial material — he’s had to make more than a few public apologies toward various communities — lead to some keen insights on the purpose of comedy. When asked if he considered any subject matter to be taboo in his stand-up routine, he was adamant. “No. No. No. Everything is relevant. Everything. I think that some people are just super-sensitive. Comedy is a place where we should be able to talk about everything and anything and make fun of it. Shows like Archie Bunker (All in the Family) or The Jeffersons had it right. That would never happen today. P.C. [political correctness] is becoming censorship now. If you don’t like what I have to say, fine, but what am I going to say to a 10-year-old child at my show? Put the kids to bed. Let’s have some grown-up talk. It seems like America is going through puberty right now!”
It’s no surprise that Morgan values honesty and openness in his work. The comedian rose to fame by way of overcoming a challenging childhood in the housing projects of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
“Good comedy,” says Morgan, “Comes from the truth, being honest. That’s why Richard Pryor was the greatest. That’s why Marvin Gaye was the greatest. Marvin Gaye was a grown man, he had experience. Then everything went pop. I like doing comedy for grown-ups, people who got bills, who got problems, because I got the same thing. Then people realize they’re not the only one, and when they realize they’re not the only one, they don’t commit suicide. Everybody’s going through it, everybody.”
His passion is palpable. This is a professional man who cares about his craft. So when you go to see him this weekend, don’t expect the exaggerated caricature of Tracy Jordan from 30 Rock. Don’t expect to hear him utter the line, “That bird better not mess up my credit. I’m Brian Fellow!” Morgan is there to tell you about the real Tracy Morgan, the actor and comedian who got his start on stages with his stand-up routine. He wants to tell you about his life and what he’s been through, and most importantly, he wants to make you laugh. And he will. Just do us all a favor and keep the kids home.

— andrea mcguigan

If you go:
Who: Tracy Morgan
Where: Gypsies Nightclub at Mount Airy Casino Resort, 312 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono, PA 18344
When: Saturday, Feb. 1. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show time at 8 p.m.
Admission is $50 – $65. Call (877) 682-4791 for more information.