Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide debuts on Comedy Central (Spoiler Alert)

Stephanie Sokol for The Pit

Photo/Comedy Central
Photo/Comedy Central

Tracy Morgan left nothing unsaid in his stand-up “Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide.” Premiering Sunday, April 20, at 10:00 p.m. on Comedy Central, he poked fun at everything from stocking up on Spam to Colonel Sanders stealing his chicken recipe, to the time he was mistaken for an Irish woman.

Donning red pants and a white jacket, Morgan opened the evening shouting “What’s Up? Where Brooklyn At?” earning laughs from the audience when he said that the city he was performing in and grew up in is “always in the house.” From that point, he jumped to discussing his young life growing up as a “crack dealer with a heart of gold.”

He made it clear to audience members, however, that when you become famous, it’s tough to go back home.

“I can’t go back to where I grew up, or they’ll rob the shit out of me!” He joked about Brooklyn. “‘We love you Tray, you funny and all, but I need that chain man.’”

His family stories were also ridiculous and comedic, starting with his crackhead aunt who bought him a Gameboy, stole it, then helped him look for it, so she would “eliminate herself as a suspect.” Family party stories brought the audience into Morgan’s world, as he acted out the past for his viewers– in a manner that at times, seemed to make him a bit emotional.

But when times started feeling tense, he turned things around.

Throughout the evening, Morgan made light of society, comparing many things to a ghetto, repeating, “It’s getting dark out here.” Occupy Wall Street and preparing for the end of the world were mentioned in his spiel.

“I ain’t going to the mountains when doomsday comes– I’m going to the top of the projects…” Morgan said.

From laughing about Paula Dean’s use of the “n-word” to discussing the ridiculous news of crippled “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius “accidentally” killing his girlfriend, it was clear that Morgan didn’t take himself too seriously. He was fun onstage, interacting with the audience and really getting into his skits. When discussing drug use among athletes, Morgan transformed into a baseball player, getting up to bat, then passing out.

“You can’t quit if you’re the pope– this ain’t McDonald’s,” Morgan said. “Like,’ ‘I’m tired of this hat, God.’ ”

Known for his roles on 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, Morgan’s delivery of the jokes was perfect and natural– whether he was laughing about relationships or joking about himself, he constantly earned well-deserved laughter from the audience, though at times, he was a bit out of line with his jokes. While he was funny and probably had good intentions, some of his “comedy” was bordering insulting and might have been offensive to some audience members. But for most of the night, he kept the audience laughing, closing the evening ridiculously as he acted out the process of a “text messaging fight” between a couple, which was all too realistic and silly.

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