Anyone who has witnessed Bob Saget do stand-up or Dustin “Screech” Diamond do porn knows the actors' off-camera sensibilities do not always align with their television personalities. And perhaps it’s no surprise that some of our most endearing fictional network TV heroes are actually some of our crudest, gutter-minded citizens. Everyone needs a release from their day job, right?
Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan has reached the heights of television stardom differently than most character actors. That is, he’s been able to be himself. Kind of.
His 30 Rock character is vaguely similar to his own persona and even his own name — Tracy Jordan, a cartoon-voiced, overly manicured, narcissistic yet also sensitive TV talent. Critics generally say it’s a fantastically meta sendup of the Hollywood ego, but Morgan doesn’t really buy the similarities.
“It’s a fictional character, not me,” he says bluntly.
So who is Tracy Morgan? For one, he’s not all slapstick and gags. He’s a family man, a street philosopher, an artist. And yes, there’s still some street in the Brooklyn native.
Miguel Sapochnik’s love letter to American health care and the subprime lenders who felled the country’s economy takes us 20 years into a bleak, bloody future where artificial organs are sold at a premium ($600,000 for a synthetic heart) and reclaimed by knife-wielding thugs once clients default on their payments.
Remy (Jude Law) is one of those thugs, coldly carving up the hopeless saps whose bodies are essentially on loan from his employer, the Union Corporation. He is unmoved by the grislier aspects of his work, perhaps because he buys so readily into the company credo. “You’re not taking a life,” his boss (a smugly soulless Liev Schreiber) explains. “You’re keeping the Union viable so we can continue to give it.”
Comedy: Tracy Morgan
After seven seasons on Saturday Night Live and four seasons opposite Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey on 30 Rock, SAG award winner Tracy Morgan ’s still got it going on. The Emmy nominee wraps up his current summer stand-up tour right here in SF at Cobb’s next week; the shows are bound to sell out, so if you don’t yet have tickets, start scouring Craigslist. Thursday, 7/29 - Sunday, 8/1; Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., 415-928-4320
After seven seasons on Saturday Night Live and four seasons opposite Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey on 30 Rock, SAG award winner Tracy Morgan ’s still got it going on. Last year, Morgan published his hilarious autobiography, I Am the New Black (Spiegel & Grau), and showed up on the big screen earlier this year in Death at a Funeral.
Former Saturday Night Live player Tracy Morgan has by now trademarked the dizzy persona that has served him well on the NBC ensemble comedy 30 Rock and here, in Kevin Smith’s weightless new farce, as a New York cop hunting a vicious gang leader and a stolen baseball card. He is self-absorbed, endearingly eccentric and rarely at a loss for words, especially when logic escapes him. He’s never all there.