Discovered in 1984 while doing stand-up at The Apollo, comedian Tracy Morgan was catapulted toward stardom in 1996 when he was picked as one of the regular cast members of NBC's classic late night live sketch comedy show, "Saturday Night Live" (SNL). The New York City native stayed with the hit show for seven seasons (1996-2003), creating such memorable characters as "Safari Planet" host Brian Fellow, the space adventurer "Astronaut Jones," and Woodrow, as well as impersonating various celebrities ranging from Mike Tyson to Star Jones. He is also widely remembered for his oddball way he says the word "hilarious."
Morgan, who began his career on the FOX sitcom "Martin," playing the recurring role of Hustle Man (1994-1996), also voiced Spoonie Luv in Comedy Central's "Crank Yankers" (2002). He also hosted a short-lived stand-up comedy show called "Comic Groove" (2002).
Post “SNL,” Morgan starred in his own sitcom, the short-lived "The Tracy Morgan Show" (2003-2004) and lent his voice to the large bulldog Woof on the MTV2 animated program "Where My Dogs At" (2006). He now plays comedian Tracy Jordan in the Emmy-winning NBC sitcom "30 Rock," which earned him an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
On the wide screen, the comic actor could be seen in the films "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate" (1996), "Half Baked" (1998), "Bamboozled" (2000), "30 Years to Life" (2001), "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (2001), "Head of State" (2003), "Are We There Yet" (2005; voice), "The Longest Yard" (2005), "Little Man" (2006), "First Sunday" (2008), and "Superhero Movie" (2008). He will next be seen in the upcoming films "Deep in the Valley" and "Nailed," and his voice will be heard in "G-Force."
The 5' 10" performer married his high school sweetheart, Sabina, in 1985 when he was 17 years old. The couple, who have three sons, are now divorced.
Childhood and Family:
In The Bronx, New York, Tracy Morgan was born on November 10, 1968. His father, Jimmy, a musician and Vietnam veteran, abandoned the family when Tracy was 6 years old, forcing his mother to raise five children on her own. His father later died in 1987.
Tracy Morgan married his high school sweetheart, Sabina, in 1985 when he was 17 years old. They have three sons, Tracy (born in 1986), Malcolm (born in 1987), and Gitrid (born in 1991). Tracy and Sabina are now divorced.
When asked if his kids let him be funny at home, Tracy said, “What do you mean 'let me'? I'm Dad! I do what I want to do! I walk around buck nekkid. My kids hate it, but I walk around the house with no drawers on. I go commando in my house!”
And his divorce, he admitted, “Twenty-one years is a pretty long walk in the park with someone. So for us to come to this conclusion, it was like a death in the family.”
Tracy had a brush with the law several times. In late 2005, he was arrested in Hollywood on impaired driving charges (he later pled no contest to a misdemeanor drunk driving charge stemming from the incident) and in November 2006, he was arrested again, this time in Manhattan and was charged with DWI. He later had to wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) ankle bracelet to test his skin for alcohol vapors every 30 minutes for 90 days.
Saturday Night Live
Discovered in 1984 while doing stand-up at The Apollo, Tracy Morgan began making appearances on the “Uptown Comedy Club (1992-1993), “Showtime at the Apollo” (1987-2002) and “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam” (HBO, 1991-1997).
In 1994, he began his career on the FOX sitcom starring comedian Martin Lawrence, "Martin," playing the recurring role of Hustle Man. The newcomer subsequently entered the film scene and was cast as a bartender in Martin Lawrence's successful romantic comedy movie, “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” (1996), which was directed, written, and starred in by Lawrence.
Almost at the same time, the young comedian was recruited by producer Lorne Michaels to become a regular cast member on the hit NBC "Saturday Night Live" (SNL), where he stayed for seven seasons (1996-2003). During his tenure in the classic late night live sketch comedy show, Morgan performed a variety of characters, including Brian Fellow, Bronx resident Dominican Lou, Bishop Don "Mack" Donald, Astronaut Jones, African Andy, Benny the Bengal, Reggie Owens, Captain Munclair Vanderhousen III, "Judge Judy" bailiff Bert, Tate Witherspoon of the tough-talking law firm Russell & Tate, and Woodrow. He also performed impressions of Aretha Franklin, Maya Angelou, Samuel L. Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Mike Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Oprah Winfrey and more.
Besides displaying his comic talent on "Saturday Night Live" and in its specials, Morgan also appeared in a string of comedy movies, including Tamra Davis' "Half Baked" (1998; starring Dave Chappelle), Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" (2000; alongside Damon Wayans and Jada Pinkett Smith), Vanessa Middleton's "30 Years to Life" (2001) and Kevin Smith's "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (2001; with Jason Mewes and Ben Affleck).
He was also cast in the action/fantasy "WaSanGo" (2001; aka. "Hwasan Highschool"), Jesse Dylan's comedy "How High" (2001; with Method Man and Redman), Arlene Sanford's straight-to-video released comedy, "Frank McKlusky, C.I." (2002; starring Dave Sheridan), and Chris Rock's comedy "Head of State" (2003), in which he co-starred as Meat Man.
Morgan appeared in the music video "Notorious B.I.G." for the slain rapper The Notorious B.I.G in 1999 and in a 2000 episode of NBC's Emmy-winning sitcom "3rd Rock from the Sun." He then lent his voice to Spoonie Luv, a smooth-talking, African-American hip hop-type character who makes lewd and suggestive comments, in the Comedy Central's crank calls show "Crank Yankers," and hosted a short-lived stand-up comedy show called "Comic Groove" (2002).
Morgan continued to perform his stand-up routine, most notably on Comedy Central comedy special, “Tracy Morgan: One Mic” (2002). In 2003, he was “Punk'd” by Ashton Kutcher and his car was towed from the valet parking lot.
After leaving “Saturday Night Live,” Morgan starred in his own sitcom, “The Tracy Morgan Show.” He played Tracy Mitchell, the owner of an auto repair garage, and Tamala Jones from "Head of State" portrayed his wife. Marc John Jefferies and Bobb'e J. Thompson played his sons. Premiering on December 2, 2003, on NBC, the show was canceled after 18 episodes.
Morgan spent 2005 providing the voice of legendary pitcher Satchel Paige in Brian Levant's comedy film starring Ice Cube, "Are We There Yet” and appearing as a transvestite inmate in Peter Segal's remake of the original 1974 football film, "The Longest Yard," starring Adam Sandler. The following year, he was heard as Marcus in Bob Saget's "Farce of the Penguins," and as Woof, a large bulldog who runs away from his owner, on MTV2’s animated program "Where My Dogs At?"
In 2006, Morgan played Tracy Jordan in the critically-acclaimed NBC sitcom "30 Rock." His work in the show earned him an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. The show is currently in its second season and will return for a third season as part of NBC's fall schedule that is expected to premiere in fall 2008.
Morgan was also spotted as a guest in an episode of Comedy Central’s show "Mind of Mencia" and appeared in the made-for-television movie "Totally Awesome" (2006). In June 2007, he became the host of the first Spike Guys' Choice Awards. He also appeared in commercials for Sega's ESPN NFL Football, ESPN NBA Basketball for PlayStation 2, Sierra Mist, and DiGiorno Frozen Pizza and was seen in the films "Little Man" (2006) and "First Sunday" (2008).
On how he got the role in "First Sunday" (2008), Morgan recalled, "My agent and my manager called me and said people were reading for this movie and would I be interested in it and I said, 'Yeah, absolutely.' I've worked with the Alvarez brothers before and they told me that Ice Cube was in it, so right there for me the deal was sealed. To work with Ice Cube is something that I always wanted to do since 'Are We There Yet?' I wanted to work with him face-to-face though, so I came and I read for the movie and they gave me the part, so hallelujah!"
Morgan was recently seen as Professor Xavier in "Superhero Movie" (2008), a comedy film directed by Craig Mazin that spoofs the superhero genre. Next, he will appear in the upcoming comedy films "Deep in the Valley" by Christian Forte that features Denise Richards, Chris Pratt, and Scott Caan, and "Nailed" by David O. Russell in which Morgan will share the screen with Jake Gyllenhaal, James Marsden, Jessica Biel, and Catherine Keener. He will also lend his voice to the upcoming action/adventure/fantasy movie "G-Force," alongside Nicolas Cage, Will Arnett, Steve Buscemi, and Penélope Cruz.