I Am the New Black
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The outrageously funny, heartbreaking, and surprising story of Tracy Morgan's rise from ghetto wiseass to superstar comedian.
Who is Tracy Morgan? The wildly unpredictable funnyman who rocketed to fame on Saturday Night Live? The Emmy-nominated actor behind the sly and ingenious character Tracy Jordan on the award-winning hit sitcom 30 Rock, whose turbulent personal life often mirrors that of his fictional alter ego? Is he Chico Divine, the life of the party--any party, anytime, anywhere, getting ladies pregnant everywhere he goes? Or is he a soulful, tender family man who emerged from a hardscrabble ghetto upbringing and against all odds achieved superstardom, raised a solid family, prevailed over a collection of lethal bad habits, and is still ascending new heights and coming into his own? The answer is: Tracy Morgan is all that. And then some.
When he was just a boy living in the Coney Island projects, being funny was about survival. With the right snap, Tracy could shut down the playground bullies who beat up on him and his physically disabled older brother. And with a wild enough prank, he could exact revenge on whoever stole his Pumas at the community pool. Later, being funny was about escape--from the untouchable sadness of his father’s death, from the desperation of the drug dealer’s trade, from the life and death battles waged on the streets of the South Bronx in the age of crack. But these days being funny is about living his dream--a dream born in the comedy clubs of Harlem and realized on shows like Martin and Saturday Night Live, where he was a cast member for seven years, and in movies like The Longest Yard and Half-Baked.
With brutal honesty and his trademark take-no-prisoners humor, Tracy tells the story of his rise to fame, with all its highs and its many lows--from the very public battles with alcohol and diabetes that threatened his career and his life to the private and poignant end of his twenty-year marriage. In his singularly warped and brilliant way he muses on family, love, sex, race, politics, ambition, and what it takes to bring the funny.
Howlingly funny, inspiring, searing, and touching, I Am the New Black is a fascinating peek inside the mind of one of the most compelling and defining comedians of our time.
head to any park in sight, any night of the week when the weather was warm. You could learn the freshest dances and see all the fly girls, just a block or two from your home. I learned about life in the Bronx; it’s where I learned how to get my mack on, how to get my comedy on. That’s where I learned everything that gave me my flavor. In high school, traces of the Tracy Morgan that you people out there know today first saw the light of day. That’s where I met my man Leroy Elbows and my man
Nothing makes a man feel better than a woman. It’s nice to have a daily reminder of this in my life once again. I thought those feelings were gone forever after my wife and I split up. We’d been together for twenty years. I thought she was going to be the only true love I’d ever have. I met Sabina when we were just kids. I was at the age where the last thing you want to do is settle down. At nineteen, every man feels like Christopher Columbus, ready to explore that great ocean of females he sees
suh, I ain’t seen none!” The new black is impossible to define—and so am I, because I am the new black. You know my characters on television and in films, and some of you know my stand-up. Which one of those is me? Who am I? Tracy Jordan? Biscuit? Astronaut Jones? The truth is that I’m all of them. They all live in me and I live through all of them. If you want to know the truth about Tracy Morgan, that truth is that like the new black, I’m impossible to define. Black isn’t the absence of color,
getting the girl, usually played by an attractive female host. Woodrow was the saddest clown I could imagine. He was never getting out of the sewer and he was never getting anything he wanted, no matter how close he came. I saw him as being in the same category as the more socially conscious comedy that SNL did back in the seventies. Go back and watch it all; you’ll see what I’m talking about. Another character I enjoyed getting on the air regularly was Dominican Lou. He was my way of letting
house party and a Prince concert at the same time! Can you think of anything better than that? At one point I walked outside to find Damon Dash just destroying Paris Hilton, which I thought was really funny. Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched, because he was laying into her like I think so many people wanted to do right about then, in 2004. He was in her face, saying, “You don’t do shit! What the fuck you do, anyway? What are you famous for?” He was crushing her, just grilling her