SNL star Tracy Morgan bares all at State Theatre show


"Saturday Night Live" legend and "30 Rock" star Tracy Morgan returned to New Jersey for an uncensored, unyielding and, as always, amusing set at the State Theatre stage on Sept. 30.

Morgan had kicked off his latest comedy tour with a new Netflix special, "Staying Alive," shot at New Jersey’s Count Basie Theatre. His special and the performance at the State Theatre had several overlaps, although the greater overarching theme for the whole tour has to be Morgan’s new outlook on life following his near-fatal car accident in 2014.

After a Walmart truck crashed into Morgan’s limousine nearly three years ago, he was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital where he was treated for a traumatic brain injury that put him in a coma, forcing him to learn how to walk again.

“After my accident, I learned to spread love. Too much hate in this world,” Morgan said, reflecting on the incident during his show. 

One of the doctors who treated Morgan at RWJ attended the show, and the two had a heartwarming moment at the end of Morgan’s set when he thanked the man who helped him to get his life back.

When the curtains first opened, the stage was empty save for a barstool and microphone stand lit by a soft, golden glow as the audience anxiously awaited for Morgan’s debut.

The show was hosted and introduced by three comics, Wellie Jackson, Marc Theobald and, my personal favorite of the night, Tracey Ashley.

Ashley was open with the audience concerning her life and experiences of being in an interracial marriage in the heart of Indiana. Her piece was personal and inviting, while also managing to completely capture the entire audience — a rising star to look out for.

As Morgan first strutted across the stage for his grand entrance, he was met with uproars from the crowd and a standing ovation. You could tell he was completely at home.

Morgan is known for his raunchy and unmatched comedic talents, to the point where audience members have to ask themselves “Did he just really?” The answer is always a resounding yes.

Morgan's jokes ranged from topics of family drama, to the election, to his initial thoughts when waking up from his coma and, of course, his favorite topic, women. Morgan’s shows are not for the faint of heart. His often vulgar language, inappropriate gestures, which made his love for his second wife known during his set, and openness about his first marriage are uncensored, bordering on overexposed.

When talking about his first marriage, Morgan said he believes that during his rise to stardom he may have lost touch with reality, causing him to lose her, which he spoke about during his piece. 

Make no mistake that Morgan will describe, in vivid detail, any sexual interaction he has ever had with a woman, but he values loyalty in a relationship above all else.

Morgan’s transitions between jokes and punchlines were often scattered, and it was almost impossible to follow his train of thought. He also had a piece of paper on stage with him, undoubtedly reminding himself of the topics and jokes he had to cover, although, for the rest of his time on stage, it was just a comedian from Brooklyn entertaining an audience from Jersey.

The famed comedian spoke aloud whatever came to mind and even answered some of the comments shouted from the audience. He was comfortable, confident and back where he belongs.

There was no set conclusion for the show. Morgan took another swing at the Kardashian family, before concluding with "Thank you everyone for coming out. Have a great night.” He made his way off stage, and the crowd went wild as the stage went dark. All in all, Morgan delivered a sound performance and a greatly missed show for his fans.

As for how Morgan now feels about Walmart after the accident, he harbors no hard feelings: “I still shop at Walmart. You can’t beat their prices.”


Marissa Scognamiglio

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