Tracy Morgan talks tragedy, comedy and Louis Armstrong

Comedy has made Tracy Morgan rich and famous beyond his wildest dreams. But he sounded deadly serious for almost all of a recent interview to promote his performance Thursday night at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.

Then again, considering the horrific, near-fatal highway accident Morgan suffered in 2014, it shouldn’t be surprising that he has a more sober view of life.

“When I was in the hospital, in a coma for eight days, humor did not help me,” said the New York native, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, broke every bone in his face, cracked his ribs and shattered his left femur.

“Humans helped me,” he stressed. “My wife was there every day.”

Once Morgan had regained consciousness, his doctors didn’t know if he’d be able to talk or walk again. Resuming his comedy career was the last thing on his mind.

“When I look at priorities, comedy is way down there,” he said, speaking by phone from Manhattan.

A: I’ve learned equally from both, because you learn form success as well as failure. If you’re open-minded, you have to learn, and I love learning. Knowledge is the key to the universe, especially knowledge of yourself. I’ve learned who I am as a person when I’m successful, and when I’m not. But a lot of people don’t learn from their successes. They don’t.

Q: If you were invited back to co-host “Saturday Night Live” next month, who would you want to play?

A: Kanye and Kim.

Q: Both of them?

A:  l’ll play Kanye and we’ll get somebody funny to play Kim.

Q: Have you watched any of the presidential debates?

A: No, I’m not into politics. I don’t waste my time.

Q:  Do you include any political  commentary in your comedy act?

A:  I don’t. I don’t believe in politics or “poli-tricks.’ I love everybody, not politics. God is my president. I put my faith in God, not in man.

Q: Is there a comedian you look up to, not to imitate, but in terms of wanting to emulate their quality of work and career longevity?

A: Oh, man. I think that would be Redd Foxx. Redd had been doing it since vaudeville.

Q: Who was the first comedian you saw perform live when you were young?

A: Martin Lawrence inspired me to get  on stage. I went to see him do Def Jam. Four months later, I was on Def Jam.

Q: The best answer I ever got to this last question was from Miles Davis. When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?

A: There lies one funny motherf—–. That’s what will be on my tombstone. That’s already on my tombstone!

Q:  Do you want to know what Miles said?

A:  What did Miles say?

Q:  “For not being white.”

A: For not being white? That is funny! 

Tracy Morgan

When: 7:30 Thursday, Oct. 20 

Where: Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island

Tickets: $65 (for mature audiences only)

Phone: (800) 745-3000




Twitter @georgevarga

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