Tracy Morgan on his controversial new autobiography

Tracy-Morgan-black-book_l“It was interesting, it was scary, it was real painful,” says Tracy Morgan of looking back on his life for the comedian’s new autobiography I Am The New Black. The resulting book is also all of those things as the 30 Rock star recounts his hard scrabble childhood in Brooklyn’s Tompkins Houses projects, the death of his ex-heroin addict father from AIDS, his days as a drug dealer, and his (now famously) cool relationships with former Saturday Night Live colleagues Cheri Oteri and Chris Kattan. In an interview with EW, Morgan discusses the book, his days at SNL, and his biggest fear.

The book reads like a very honest, warts-and-all, recounting of your life.
Yeah. It’s giving people in the mainstream public a chance to look into my world, without actually having to physically go there. There’s a lot of beauty there, and there’s a lot of young talent there in the ghetto. But it can be dangerous too. I realized how many of my friends didn’t survive. I’m not just talking death. I’m talking falling into drug use, falling into violence, falling into just bad decision-making. And then a lot of them just being at the wrong place at the wrong f—ing time. But I realized that I’m not here just by chance. I made some pretty good choices, my friend!

Speaking of which, New Black makes clear that, while your reputation as a party animal was a deserved one, those days are behind you.
I just got older. I grew up and I grew out of it. I did it, had fun, did it, seen it, did it, and it was time to move on. I’ve just matured beyond it. And thank god.

The book’s slamming of Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri (“Where’s Chris Kattan now? Where’s Cheri Oteri? That bitch can’t even get arrested”) has become a big story.
Everybody’s blowing that out of context. I’m not angry with any of those people. I don’t know those people. But we focus and fixate on drama. I didn’t write that book, and go through everything I went through, just so people could fixate on Cheri Oteri, Chris Kattan. We weren’t mortal enemies, but we never hung out. They never wrote me in sketches, come on! If Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri were to write a book, do you think they would actually mention me? Hell no! I was always in my life voted “The Most Unlikely,” and I’m quite sure they thought that I was just a black dude, and I wasn’t going to succeed and all of that. But there were people (on SNL) that I loved, and that were very supportive of me, even though I wasn’t getting on much, like Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon. They’re my family.

How do you get on with the 30 Rock cast?
Well, maybe they got on with me. I was the first one Tina Fey asked to do the show. But we  have a good time, and we care about each other.

What scares you?
The IRS. That’s it.

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • Pretty Project

    While I appreciate the honesty he uses in his book, I still end up thinking, “Why do I care about this guy’s life? What has he done besides be a character in one hit TV show?” Harsh or no?

    • Aprilcot26

      He came from a rough place and is trying to show people that just because he made some poor decisions in the past he’s been able to turn his life around. Plus, did you ever see him on SNL? Brian Fellowes? HiLARious.

      • Darcia

        Brian Fellows was awesome! One of my favourite SNL characters!!!

      • Doremifah Solatido

        What the heck was ever funny about Brian Fellows? Or the rocket man sex freak? His characters all sucked, 30 Rock is asinine, he can disappear for all I care.

    • aj simon

      Are you kidding? he is the star of Who Dat Ninja? – an oscar worthy performance!!!!

      • Chris

        And also a Blaffair to Rememblack.

    • Tim

      Harsh and inaccurate. He’s an SNL member and is an Emmy nominated actor on the best show on television, ’30 Rock’. He’s also a highly regarded, extremely funny stand-up comic of the adult comedy variety. Morgan has the uncanny ability to elevate the material around him: see any of the Wayans Bros. movies he’s been in or the otherwise unwatchable ‘Longest Yard’.

      • dgh

        “best show on television” that made me laugh more than 30 Rock ever has!!!

  • lukerose

    I herd an interview with him on NPR it was touching and showed a non comedic side of him. i enjoyed it

  • Funny guy..

    Totally wasted on a crappy sitcom!

    • Scott

      I assume you are being sarcastic because, if anything, 30 Rock is too good for Tracey Morgan.

      • ^ Doubt that…

        30 Rock is overrated crap!

      • Scott

        Don’t worry, you can still catch “Til Death” on Friday nights. I’m sure that is more up your alley.

  • Nathan

    No need to explain, Chris Kattan’s always been annoying as hell, same for Cheri Oteri, only to a lesser extent.

  • Rush

    People need to stop seeing when someone is giving their honest opinion about someone. Showbusiness is a rough business and it could use more honesty people like Tracey Morgan and Bronson Pinchot.

  • gigi

    I was a fan of Tracy Morgan since the “Uptown Comedy Club” (remember that?) I don’t think he should make an apology or explain what he meant by his comments. It it what it is. Keep us laughing Tracy!

  • Best Interviewee…

    ..whenever he appears on Howard Stern!

  • n~~joy~~n~~life

    tracy morgan is a great comedian. he is and has been on more than 1 hit show.he was on martin(hustle man)—truly a real actor/comedian.

  • steve

    Careful, Tracy…karma’s a bitch!!

  • wooster182

    I don’t find him funny, so I don’t really care about his story, but I’m happy for him.

    What I don’t care for in his explanation of Cheri and Chris is that he didn’t really mean anything by it but then implies that they’re racist. Why would his being black have anything to do with them thinking he would be successful? Does he have proof of their racism.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. I’m biracial. I know that it does. But you can’t say something like that without anything to back it. That’s considered libel.

    • Court

      I don’t think he was making a comment on their particular views of African Americans, I believe he said “just a black dude” because the SNL cast and writers have bad track records when it comes to using their AA cast members. A lot of the time they are seen as just the “black dude” in the cast instead of a funny actor/actress in their own right. Chris Rock has said similar things about SNL and the way the AA cast members are seen.

  • Amy

    Tracy Morgan’s “Brian Fellows” character was one of the best in the past 10 years on SNL.

  • ozking

    Wooster where in the above article did he say they were racist? Your comment should be considered libel. Implying is like assuming and you know where assuming leads you. Makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. I crack myself up.

    • wooster182

      He said, “I’m quite sure they thought that I was just a black dude” which means he thinks that they didn’t take him seriously because he’s black, which implies that they are racist. Doesn’t take rocket science.

  • jj

    If you don’t mean to say negative things about people like Cheri and Chris, then don’t say anything at all. Duh.

  • AmyH

    Untalented loser then, untalented loser now.

  • JonnyB81

    This guy is the real deal. He isn’t like some of the washed-up former SNL’ers we’ve seen. If you’ve ever heard him speak in an interview, you’d be blown away at how original he his.

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