To some in the mainstream, Tracy Morgan is known as “Tracy Jordan” from the television show “30 Rock. To others, he raised his profile back in 1996 when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” His off-brand and weirdly timed sense a humor was a shot in the arm to a cast that was experiencing a revival from the lowly mid-1990s.
Black America knew him from his “Hustle Man” character on the television show “Martin” earlier that decade. Some New Yorkers might take their Morgan memories back to “Uptown Comedy Club,” which used to air late nights on New York’s Fox affiliate (Channel 5). No matter who you are, you have probably had a “Tracy Morgan moment” and laughed hard at his absurdity.
And in his stand-up special “Black and Blue,” which was taped at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and will air on HBO at 10 p.m. this Saturday, Morgan stays true to his absurd ways.
Jumping from topics like the differences between “white boy mad” and “Black man mad” to discussing why the Incredible Hulk is just “a drunk white dude at a bar,” Morgan is king of the castle, tackling topics and taking them to its zaniest level. He chastises former President George W. Bush for not finding Osama bin Laden (and claims that the head of Al Qaeda could be found working a gyro cart “across the street from Madison Square Garden”), discusses attending a celebrity-filled dinner at the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama (and how he believes that under Barack’s suit lies a “Wu-Tang T-shirt”), states that you can tell the age of a man by the strength of his urine stream and the civil war between “ho’s and women.”
And in true Tracy Morgan fashion, he mentions being chased down a block in the days following Michael Jackson’s death because he wore a T-shirt that with text that wondered about the whereabouts of Tito and Randy Jackson instead.
What ties these random topics together is Morgan’s down-to-earth and regular-crazy dude approach to comedy. He’s the one guy in the neighborhood who can veer off the rails from time to time and you’ll still love him. Coming back to do stand-up at the place where he got his start in the mid-1980s, Morgan’s “Black and Blue” is a bow-tie to the gift box that’s been his career.