Nut Job: Tracy Morgan (Pg. 3)

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Chloe Hilliard / December 23, 2009

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You mentioned that when the show first came out, some people compared the character to Martin Lawrence and Dave Chappelle and that it’s not based on them. But there are Black comedians who have had these issues.

But baby, you got White comedians that are buggin’ out, too!

 

Agreed, but isn’t there a certain pressure that comes from being in the spotlight to that degree?

No, it’s just that they’re in the public eye, so everything is going to be magnified. If I do something in the club like take my shirt off, well, where we come that’s partying. But if I do that, being that I’m Tracy Morgan, they magnify it. You know, Page Six, they have their job to do, too! “Tracy Morgan took his shirt off so he must be having a meltdown.” Nah, I was just partying!

 

Why do you think people are so drawn to Tracy Jordan as a character?

I don’t know, man. That dude is edgy.

 

Edgy?

He has attitude and he’s real edgy. I’m from the ‘hood. I’m from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. I don’t know nobody ever, in my generation, who has reached this level of success. C’mon. Emmy? That doesn’t happen every day.

 

You think you might do a follow-up book?

I don’t know, man. This was too heavy for me, man. Too heavy. And some people like to take your past and twist it and analyze it and judge you. ‘Cause people are asking me, “Why? Why? Why?” And I’m like, “I don’t know why my father got drafted into Vietnam. I don’t know why my brother can’t use his legs. I don’t know why.” I guess that’s how things were supposed to be. But that’s the basis of me. And people go, “Wow. You went through that?” Yeah, I been going through that!

 

What’s been the most unexpected reaction you’ve had to the book?

That I’m human! Yeah, people were asking me questions like I’m a Martian. But that’s all right. I wrote a book and that humanized me to them.

 

Was there a moment when the idea popped into your head, like, “Yo, I’mma write a book?”

No. Actually, I was at Benny Honda’s and I met my agent there, and I didn’t know that he was with my agency. I had my table laughing, and I was telling my story. He was sitting right by me, right next to me, behind me, and he was like, “Yo, I’m with Endeavor, and I’m a book agent. You should write a book.” And two weeks later, Random House gave me my deal for my book, a very lucrative deal to tell my story. They gave Jay-Z the same deal. And Jay-Z grew up right across the street from me. He grew up in Marcy. I grew up in Tompkins.

 

I didn’t realize y’all were that close.

Yeah, He, me, and Ty-Ty, we all grew up together.