As Hustle Man on fellow standup comedian Martin Lawrence’s show Martin in 1994, Tracy Morgan gave TV audiences their first taste of his bullish humor. But it wasn’t until the eccentric comedian landed a spot on Saturday Night Live that his bizarre view of the world was given a proper stage, and Morgan spent seven seasons playing such absurdist characters as Brian Fellow and Dominican Lou. Then, on the Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock, he blurred the line between real life and fiction as Tracy Jordan, a loudmouthed character built from an encyclopedic arsenal of political and pop-culture-laced non sequiturs.
Morgan has also found fame on the big screen, starring in more than two dozen films — including seminal stoner flicks Half Baked and How High — over the past two decades. In 2009, the comedian released I Am the New Black, an autobiographical revelation about growing up in the Bronx, his stint as a drug dealer and his often tense relationships with famous co-stars like Tina Fey. Morgan has also seen his fair share of controversy, and a 2011 standup appearance put homophobic comments he made in an unwelcome spotlight. But he apologized and connected with LGBTQ youth at the Ali Forney Center in his home town, showing a compassion that redirected the attention back to what Morgan does best: make people laugh.
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Morgan’s Turn It Funny tour makes a stop tonight at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place. Tickets are $35 plus applicable service charges; for more information, call 303-623-0106 or visit paramountdenver.com.
Sun., June 1, 8 p.m., 2014