On television, Tracy Morgan is loud, outrageous, and hilarious. Onstage, he’s the exact same way. And on the phone at noon on a Tuesday? He’s still Tracy.
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“I FEEL GREAT. I THANK GOD EVERY DAY THAT I’M HERE,” he says when asked how it feels to be back onstage. “EVERYTHING IS AMAZING. THE TREES, THE SUN, MY CHILDREN GROWING UP. I LOVE ALL OF IT.”
(The caps lock is not an accident. Everything that comes out of Morgan’s mouth sounds like he’s shouting.)
For those who don’t know, two years ago Morgan was in a horrific bus accident that left him with serious injuries, and lingering questions from the comedy community as to whether he would ever return to the stage or the screen.
An inspirational, surprise appearance at the Emmy Awards last September showed that he hadn’t lost his trademark sense of humor, but it was his hosting gig on Saturday Night Live in October that showed the world he still possessed the same over-the-top personality that made fans fall for him to begin with.
After capping the year with an appearance on Barbara Walter’s “10 Most Fascinating People” list for 2015, the man best known as Tracy Jordan, Brian Fellow, and Astronaut Jones decided to get back out on the road in 2016. He is bringing his first post-injury standup tour to Minnesota this weekend.
While the aptly titled Picking Up the Pieces Tour is his reintroduction to the stage, the 30 Rock star insists that his new show isn’t meant to be an exercise in bravery or perseverance, rather it’s just supposed to be funny.
“I just need to be funny,” he says. “I don't worry about what people are thinking about me and the accident, I'm just there to be funny. Making people laugh is a heavenly glory, and I'm keeping it simple.”
Though the last thing he’s looking for are words of encouragement, his ability to bounce back from such a horrific accident has not gone unnoticed by his fans.
"I'm getting so much goodwill and love," Morgan says. “People come up to me and they care. They're like, 'You all right? Good, then get back to being funny.'”
Whether he’s discussing parenting, race, sex, politics, or how Prince helped to shape his understanding of the opposite sex, Morgan is not one to shy away from any topic or to try to play things safe.
“I learned that you can't control tomorrow,” he says of his approach to both his comedy and his life overall. “I control today and what I do with it.”
That said, Morgan is the first to admit that the past couple of years have changed him, both as a person and as a comedian. And that’s a great thing.
“I’m brand new. I’m better than ever. I’m funnier than ever.”
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