Monday, April 22, 2024

Tracy Morgan on His Time at “Saturday Night Live”: “I got to work with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lorne Michaels, The Force was with me”


Tracy Morgan, who promised to get “a whole lot of women pregnant” at the 2015 Emmy’s, looked terrific and told me he felt great Sunday evening at the Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of his new film “The Clapper.”
The “30 Rock” comedian entertained journalists on the red carpet where he introduced his “date” as Roz and said he’d get her pregnant right after the screening at the School of Visual Arts Theater.
Among other things, he riffed, “I don’t do the PC thing. I don’t do that. It’s straight up and down 6 o’clock. That’s how I do things.”
Then, “See my lady Roz? I have to get that knocked up.”

“Roz” looked suspiciously like his wife Megan Wollover, who Morgan married after a horrific crash in 2014 that put him in a coma. They have one child.

“The Clapper” is written and directed by Dito Montiel, which he adapted from his book of the same name. The film also stars Ed Helms and Amanda Seyfried. (Adam Levine also has a role.) The film’s described by Tribeca as “a charming and original romantic comedy for our modern, meme-obsessed moment.” (I couldn’t get into the movie, which was sold out and had a long rush line of people who eventually didn’t get in).

Among other things, on the red carpet Morgan talked about Richard Pryor’s influence: “He’s the Messiah! He’s the one who walked on water for us!”

On his stint at Saturday Night Life: “I got to work with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lorne Michaels, the force was with me.”

On what he and “Roz” do on date night:

“We watch the championship fights. We love our boxing. We talk sports all the time. Me and my lady have things in common. We just don’t do it. We talk and all that. She made some lasagna the other night, six different cheeses.”

Morgan’s worked with Montiel before, in the 2011 Al Pacino cop drama, “The Son of No One.”

What was like working with Dito again?

“He bring out the best in me. I love him. I love him. Dangerous. If a script scares me than I’ll do it. If it don’t move me than I won’t do it. If a script scares me, when I saw this (I ask), can I do this character? If it challenges me, then I’m doing it.”

I asked what he learned about himself taking on the role and if there were any surprises?

“Well you always have surprises because you don’t know what’s inside. You gotta go inside. I learned this trip what connects me to my character? I gotta create a back story. How did he get there? If he’s messed up what made him messed up? All that’s in your head.”

It’s good to see Morgan looking so good and doing what he does best, or second best if you count making women pregnant.

I told him he looked great. How does he feel?

“I feel well. I’m eating a lot of protein.” Then he pointed to his “date” Roz and said, for the hundredth time or so: “Yeah I’m probably going to get her pregnant tonight.”

Was it something about the film that inspired that?

“Yeah, it makes me horny. I’m going to take her back of that school and get her pregnant,” he told journalists before making his way into the theater.

Montiel, who directed Robin Williams in his last film, “Boulevard” and the straight-to-DVD action film “Empire State” staring the Rock and Emma Roberts, may have a winner with “The Clapper.”

(He also made a wonderful film called “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” which brought Channing Tatum and Shia LaBeouf to prominence. Trudie Styler, who produced “Guide,” was Montiel’s guest along with her husband rock star Sting.)

I asked Montiel, who wore a hoodie and did press long after Ed Helms and Morgan walked into the theater, if being a clapper was actually a profession.

“Now you’ll start noticing them,” he said, telling me the movie was inspired by his real-life experiences of going to L.A. from New York with his friend Eddie (Krumble) to look for jobs.

“He got a job as a clapper, a paid audience member, and he would just laugh on terrible shows and infomercials. He would get $75 a show. And then he got to answer a question on an infomercial and he got an extra $100. But because his face was exposed it screwed him up and he couldn’t get hired for two months,” he said. “The idea of fame screwing you up sounded like something that is kind of happening in the world these days as well, so it was an interesting route to go through.”

As for casting Ed Helms, who has a loopy grin and got famous with “Hangover” movies, he said, “ Ed’s a really great actor but he also brings a smile to it and we needed to have a little bit of a smile or else we can go down a dark hole.”




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