Tracy Morgan's Feud with Stedman, and 6 Other Factoids About the 30 Rock Star
For today's "Funny People"-themed episode of Oprah, the media empress wrangled three NBC comedians into her studio to make her
audience laugh. Tina Fey and Steve Carell entertained the studio by talking about licking stripper poles and humping stages on the set of Date Night (which Oprah endorsed as "laugh-out-loud funny!"). Then the next comedian, Tracy Morgan, took the stage. Only instead of just sharing some knee slappers, the 30 Rock star got gritty when Oprah revealed a school picture of Morgan at the age of six. "Awwwww," the studio audience cooed. "Yeah," responded Morgan, "that's the year my dad left me!" And that was only first bit of knowledge dropped on audience members -- the rest, including the subject that made Morgan tear up instantly, after the jump.
1. Tracy Felt Discouraged During His First Years at Saturday Night Live
"I came from a world of black," he says. "I never did comedy in front of white people, and I would get discouraged, because it's really hard at Saturday Night Live. And then one night, it was about 4 in the morning, Lorne Michaels called me and I guess he saw me frustrated and he said: 'Tracy, you're not here because you're black. You're here because you're funny.' And my fangs came down and I began to feed. ... I didn't have the burden of having the black community on my [shoulders], because sometimes that can just weigh you down. It was just about being funny and free and not worrying and exposing your flaws. Because the writers come from a different world, and sometimes you have to be patient because they don't know your voice."
2. Tracy's Enemies Encouraged Him to Be Funny
"My older brother has cerebral palsy. ... So when the kids sometimes could be mean in the schoolyard, I couldn't go get my big brother. So I had to learn how to make the bullies laugh," he says. "I knew I was funny when the bullies were on my side and they protected me."
3. Tina Fey Is One Of the Only Writers To Really Understand That Tracy Is a Complex Individual
When asked about his 30 Rock boss, Tracy teared up instantly and explained: "She's my friend. I love her. She understood that I knew who I was. Where everybody else [said]: 'Oh, he don't know. His whole career is chance.' And she understood that I was making choices. I was making choices on TV. And she not only would write things, she would just encourage me."
4. Tracy's Beef with Stedman Goes Back to High School
In April, Morgan told David Letterman that Oprah was his Valentine and the comedian revealed jokingly that his feud with Oprah's beau goes way back: "This goes back to high school, you know, when me and you was messing around. You always running up on me, trying to approach me. You know, this is my woman. [Stedman] know it."
5. Good Smile + Charm = Black Svengali
Responding to how he is so good with the ladies, Morgan said, "Charm, man, charm. I've got that charm, you know? And your teeth is pretty and stuff, all you have to do is smile," he says. "I'm the black Svengali."
6. The Most Romantic Thing Tracy Has Ever Done For a Female
One lady received a toy poodle from the actor/comedian, another received 50 dozen roses but the most romantic gesture he ever made was a personal pedicure: "Just me and her and her toenails. She had fingernail polish all over her feet, but I tried."
7. Tracy Knows Who He Wants to Work With Next
"William Smith and Ed Murph"
· Up Close with Tracy Morgan [Oprah.com]