Tracy Morgan’s Former Assistant Says He Made Him Drive Around Times Square With the Roof Down in November
Tracy Morgan is a beloved comedian who first rose to fame in the iconic sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. Morgan, who is known for his gregarious and outgoing style of stand-up comedy, enjoyed a career renaissance when he was cast in the TV series 30 Rock.
As one of the central characters in the series, Morgan was able to reach a whole new audience of fans. In spite of his popularity on the show, some sources close to Morgan claim that he was quite different in real life than the character he portrayed on 30 Rock.
Tracy Morgan played Tracy Jordan in ’30 Rock’
Created by Tina Fey, a former SNL writer and performer herself, 30 Rock ran on NBC from 2006 through 2013. The series is set behind the scenes of a fictional sketch comedy show called TGS with Tracy Jordan that bears a remarkable resemblance to SNL. Starring Fey as Liz Lemon, the head writer and showrunner of TGS with Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock also features Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, and Tracy Morgan.
Morgan portrays Tracy Jordan, the lead performer of TGS with Tracy Jordan, and a man known to his friends and coworkers as a loose cannon. Unpredictable and wild, Jordan is also intensely charming – which makes his antics that much more palatable. Fey not only based the series on her time at Saturday Night Live, but she also created some of the characters in the series to suit some of her former castmates. Most notably, Fey based the character of Jordan on Morgan himself.
What did Tracy Morgan’s former assistant say about working with Tracy Morgan?
A 2021 book titled The 30 Rock Book details the story of the iconic TV series, giving fans an inside look at the creation and execution of the show. Written by Mike Roe, the book relates how Fey wrote the role of Jordan with Morgan in mind – and that Morgan was “on board from day one.” Early on in the book, Roe describes how much of Tracy’s character is based on who he really is – although Morgan himself has disputed that fact from time to time.
Morgan has claimed that his portrayal of Tracy Jordan is an amalgam of various performers that he has encountered from time to time in the entertainment industry. Morgan’s former assistant was interviewed for the book, relating an incident where Morgan made him drive “around New York City in a Porsche, or some kind of car that costs more than me, and made me keep the roof down. It was November in New York City.” The assistant remembered that Morgan would get “very pleased” when people recognized him, but also get a little “perturbed.”
Tracy Morgan received acclaim for his work in ’30 Rock’
Morgan was just as spontaneous on set as the character he portrayed. Over the years, showrunners have noted that Morgan was just as bold with improvisation as Jordan was, frequently going off-script and making up lines as he went. Some even claimed that Morgan didn’t even read the scripts for 30 Rock. Morgan explained his love of improvisation by saying,
“I come from a stand-up background and the first three letters in the word funny are fun. So I always had fun with it and I guess I made it look easy. I made it look like I wasn’t reading the script.”
Whatever his methods, Morgan’s work on 30 Rock was praised by critics and fans. At the 2009 Emmy Awards, Morgan was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Jordan. In the years since 30 Rock went off the air, Morgan has gone on to do other popular projects, including landing a leading role in another comedy series, The Last O.G. – but for many fans, Morgan will remain immortal for his endearing portrayal of Tracy Jordan.
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