Earlier this week, Tracy Morgan came to SiriusXM satellite radio headquarters in New York City, to sit down in front of a live studio audience with Ron Bennington for an episode of Unmasked. Despite the early hour of the taping– 9am– Tracy was ready to get heavy, and the hour included a few emotional breakdowns, with Tracy dropping some tears, and a lot of philosophy, Tracy Morgan style. He talked about women, comedy, God, reincarnation, his father, growing up in poverty, and his comedy idols– but of course, it was all done with Tracy Morgan’s unique style. Some members of the audience went through some emotional moments and were captivated by some of the strange talk. Others were confused. But as Tracy said, its up to you what you see and hear.
I’ll paint a picture in your mind and you’ll see it. Now you can see it one of two ways. you can laugh about it or you can feel bad about it, but that’s on you. If you give a child finger paint in kindergarten and let them do their thing, now you gonna look at that painting one of two ways. You’re gonna say ‘oh he made a mess’ or you gonna say ‘that’s the mind of a child genius’. That’s masterpiece. Thats all on you. That’s all on your intent. Why you coming to the show? Do you want to laugh? Or are you coming to judge?
So we picked out some of the most interesting moments of the philosophy Tracy laid down in the course of the hour. How you interpret it, is all up to you. But one thing is for certain, Tracy’s one of the funniest most interesting guys on the planet. Make sure you watch his new one hour comedy special “Bona Fide: premiers this Sunday, April 20th on Comedy Central at 10pm et.
On comedy and poverty…and sex.
And the hood, in the ghetto rather, when we grew up in poverty, not many things make you happy. Comedy was one– Richard Pryor, music was another– Marvin Gaye and then there’s sex. There’s no money there, we can’t go to Hawaii and stuff like that so we make love to feel good, and that’s real talk. PAIN, laugh, music, sex. And the pain is me not being able to get a job. So my woman gotta sex me up to make me feel like a man. cause so many doors been slammed in my face that day. So i think that’s why we have a lot of babies so soon. One of the by-products of poverty and frustration, we use sex as a sedative. It eases the pain of poverty, you know, you broke, I’m broke, lets go half on a baby.
On believing in yourself.
I never told nobody I was going to be funny, I was born that way, but I wanted to be a star. There was people around me that said, UPS is hiring. But except for my ex wife Sabina. She’s the one that said pull the trigger. And she was the only one who had a right to say get a job because we had 3 kids on welfare. But instead, she believed in me. Sometimes it only takes one person to have– believe in you. And that’s you.
On fucking comedy.
I took it serious, I was aggressive, yeah. I knew what was at stake. I approach it the same way I approach it now. I have nothing to lose. When it comes to comedy, I’ll run you over like a truck and leave you dead in the street. I don’t play that man, comedy is my first life. It’s my love. And I get jealous when I see other comedians fucking the shit out of her. Nobody fucked her like Richard did. He stuck his comedic dick into every orifices of her body. Richard Pryor did. If you don’t know, check the books. nobody ever did it like him. But you’ve got to understand he was born on the edge. He was born in brothel. Imagine that pain. Imagine that. Seeing your moms and your aunts and all that. You’ve got to be super funny. I don’t think I’m willing to go there.
On social media.
That’s my social media right there on the corner. i know everything going on the community standing right on the corner. I’m old school with it. I dont need to get on no computer to know what home boy doing down the block. She just told me. Whats her name? Social media. See. Funny.
On doing what you gotta do.
At some point your fangs got to come down. You got to feed. I know you are a reluctant vampire but baby you gonna die if you don’t feed. Look there’s a couple in the park walking their little dog. Lets go eat them. Let’s go suck their blood. You have to.
On reincarnation and enlightenment.
Sometimes you gotta come back. You gotta learn your lessons. I don’t care if you’er 100 years old this might be only your second cycle you ever have things dawn on you? You been here before. Saw it before. It’s enlightenment.
On changing the world.
Richard Pryor said something– if I’m gonna be onstage for an hour or two– gotta say something. Gotta talk about sexism. Gotta talk about the racism. Gotta talk about the bullshit. maybe i’ll change somebody else’s mind or touch somebody psyche or somebody heart. Maybe its not enough to just be funny– you gotta change the world.
On how he got his name.
I gotta leave something for my kids, man. when i leave i want them to say what i said about my dad. He was a hot shot man. He had white dudes in the house, white friends, no inferiority complex. he was a cool dude man, He was Jimmy man, he used to always tell me in the foxhole everybody the same color man. I know how I got my name. Him, when he was drafted, him and a young Irish dude named Tracy. (long pause) They were on a plane going to Vietnam, scared to death, young boys. And they got there two days later. Tracy had stepped on a land mine, blown to pieces. my father gave me his name.
God’s greatest creation. You gotta be a pure genius to come up with the concept of titties. I don’t say boobs, I say titties man. A boob is like a retarded person. Aint nothing like titties. [to audience member] She ain’t never gonna forget me. “he crazy! he said titties!”
On the importance of discomfort.
My comedy is based in reality. If i had to describe my comedy, it’s contemporary, wit. I stab the monster but I don’t cut too deep cuz i know we need the monster. The truth. People are so uncomfortable with the truth now and i love to dwell in those areas that make you uncomfortable. I was talking about girls farting just now, all of them got uncomfortable. Talk about how sexy they are and they walk — they got uncomfortable cuz they not used to that. She need to hear that.
On why his hands are so soft.
My hands are soft, you know why my hands are soft? Cuz all i do is touch women and count money.
On his connection with God.
I’m connected. I like to deal with the spirits man, they give me solace. I’m dealing on a level that can’t be broke. My spirits are high and when your’e doing standup at this level, your spirits gotta be high. you gotta lift em up. People try to bring you down. You gotta get close to them. Cuz its getting dark out here. I get close to God. You think its me making 5,000 people laugh? Just me? Saying one thing into a microphone making 5,000 people laugh in unison? That’s the hand of God. He’s just using me as a vehicle. He’s going from there, through me, into the audience. that’s how i’ve always seen it.
On the “fun” in comedy.
Whats the first 3 letters in the word comedy– I mean the word funny? F-U-N. What does that spell? Fun. You can have fun. You not gonna get in a cab with a driver shaking at the wheel. Confidance. BLAU! They like that shit. Ooof ahhhh! Slap em in the ass! Oooh ahhhh, control. Confidence. He got this.
On insight and the third eye.
Third eye. Sometime it get you in trouble. It can be a blessing and a curse but I’m sorry it aint gonna close now. Once the genie’s out of the bottle I ain’t going back in.. With insight you can look inside somebody you love a lot and see some really dirty shit and you don’t want to see that.
On comedy clubs being ‘sacred ground’.
That’s sacred ground. That’s a place for all of us to come and let our hair down. You don’t know out of all those people– you might save somebody’s life. You don’t know who is out there in the audience ready to go home and burn their whole family down in the house. When you say give me that knife… laugh at this…. they realize, i’m not the only one. Why you think people get depressed? You ain’t the only person trying to lose weight. You not! But there’s nobody out there saying that. You ain’t the only one trying to quit smoking, you ain’t the only one. You ain’t the only one going through problems. You ain’t the only one with ADD and all of that crazy shit. You ain’t the only one. You ain’t the only one. You ain’t. You ain’t the only one who feel bad about things.
On making people care.
I touched her, sitting in the front row, she started crying because she felt my pain. She been there. Thats what its about. Making people laugh is temporary. Its transferable. Making people care? Thats forever.
On why comedy = love.
When people don’t get it you move on. They don’t get it. What are they supposed to get? Love. What did John Lennon say? All you need is what? Thats what comedy is.
On moving mountains.
You can move a mountain. You might only do it one spoonful at a time but you can move a mountain. Depends on how much time you got.
On how he see’s himself.
There’s three egos in the world. How people see you how you see people and how you see yourself. How you see yourself is the most important. I’m beautiful. I’m beautiful and I’m versatile.
On feeling the blues.
Mary J Blige told me that when you’re feeling down, feel down! And you will be at peace wit youself. To thyself stay true. It’s okay to have the blues. Having the blues is healthy sometimes. Go jump in the shower. Wash your hair. Scratch it out your head.
When opportunity knocked I never just let it in. I used to pull out a shotgun and say get in the basement motherfucker. opportunity is duct taped in my basement right now, he aint never going nowhere. Good. If you had it would you want it? If you had it would you flaunt it? Well then its yours.
You can hear the Unmasked in its entirety exclusively on SiriusXM satellite radio. Unmasked with Tracy Morgan will air this weekend on Raw Dog SiriusXM Comedy Hits 99. The interview airs on Saturday April 19, 2014 at 11am in the east with a replay on Sunday April 20, 2014 at 9pm. Ron Bennington is the host of Unmasked and can also be heard weekdays from noon to 3pm on SiriusXM’s the Ron and Fez Show, and weekly on Ron Bennington Interviews.
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