Q+A with Tracy Morgan (TV Guide, January 2008)


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30 Rock wild man Tracy Morgan tells TV Guide about his painful divorce, DUI ankle-bracelet woes and playing Scrabble with First Sunday costar Ice Cube.

TV Guide: So let’s get this out of the way first: 2007 was rough for you. What was your lowest point?

Tracy Morgan: When me and my wife separated. 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.

TV Guide: Are you getting a divorce?

Tracy Morgan: Yeah, I’m going through it, man. It’s very hard. But we’re good friends. We stay in contact every day. She’s still my business partner.

TV Guide: Were you embarrassed about being arrested for drunk driving?

Tracy Morgan: Yeah. I never wanted to be a poster boy for that type of behavior. Drinking and driving is not a cool thing.

TV Guide: You were sentenced to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet for six months. What was that like?

Tracy Morgan: I was like the Man in the Iron Mask! It had hair all over it from my leg when I took it off.

TV Guide: What was the most annoying thing about it?

Tracy Morgan: Sores. It’s metal up against raw skin. Also, I’m diabetic. If I get a little scratch, it’s hard for it to heal.

TV Guide: How liberating was it to get it off?

Tracy Morgan: Well, it felt great not to be monitored. I’m a grown man. But it also felt weird. Because I had to live without alcohol for six months. So now it’s like, I can drink if I want. But do I want to? No. So I know it did good.

TV Guide: Did Lindsay Lohan or other celebrity alcohol-monitoring bracelet wearers get in touch with you?

Tracy Morgan: No. Most people don’t want that information out there. So they do their time quietly. It’s like going to prison. You’re not going to write anybody and go, “Yo, I’m in jail!”

TV Guide: You made fun of the bracelet on an episode of 30 Rock you shot before the strike. Was that your idea?

Tracy Morgan: I learned a lot of stuff at Saturday Night Live, man. Some things are too painful to make fun of right then and there. But once the wound heals, you need to make fun of it. I learned how to do that when we did that show after 9/11. Eventually we were able to laugh again. So the bracelet came off and we made fun of it.

TV Guide: Speaking of the strike, how have you been passing the time?

Tracy Morgan: I’m just sitting around the house. I have a girlfriend now, and I’ve been getting on my woman’s nerves. I get on my kids’ nerves. That’s what I do.

TV Guide: You have three kids. Do they let you be funny at home?

Tracy Morgan: 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!

TV Guide: Do they think you’re funny?

Tracy Morgan: Hell, yeah! Especially when they look at their bank account.

TV Guide: In the new movie First Sunday, you and Ice Cube play guys who plot to rob a church. Have you ever stolen anything?

Tracy Morgan: Yeah. My friend’s girlfriend back in the ninth grade!

TV Guide: Did you and Ice Cube have fun on the set?

Tracy Morgan: Yeah, but we were just working. You don’t play games with Ice Cube. It wasn’t like, “Hey, Ice Cube, you want to play Scrabble?”

TV Guide: You recently dissed Jimmy Fallon for giggling during SNL sketches.

Tracy Morgan: I love Jimmy Fallon. I think he’s a very talented person. I didn’t mean to hurt him or anything.

TV Guide: I hear that he’s put out a hit on your life, though.

Tracy Morgan: Yeah, he’s like 50 Cent. Jimmy — call it off. I don’t want to be sent for. Don’t send for me, man! I don’t want to get whacked. Come on. I’m a good guy.

TV Guide: You’re turning 40 in 2008. Are you prepared?

Tracy Morgan: I’m just chillin’. I’m layin’ back. I’m heading into my middle age, and it feels good. I did the crazy Tracy stuff already. Now I’m mellowing out.

TV Guide: What is a more mellow Tracy Morgan like? No more taking off your shirt in public?

Tracy Morgan: No, I’m still taking off my shirt. Just in a mellow way now.