Tag Archives: Garrett Morris

Garrett Morris Still Prefers To Walk on Comedic Wild Side/Rising Playwright Matt Sax Plots Super Hero Musical

Garrett MOrris 2 broke girlsThe old bromides about people mellowing with age don’t seem to apply to Garrett Morris.  With two seasons of “Two Broke Girls” behind him and a third due to begin production in August, the funny fellow who rose to fame on “Saturday Night Live” tells us that he hopes the show “continues to be edgy, deliberately not PC.  I want it to go on being brave enough to keep doing the kind of comedy we started out with.  It’s in your face and I like that.”

Not surprisingly, he doesn’t mind complaints about the often raunchy show that, particularly in its first season, teetered on being offensive racially, sexually and other ways.  “If you do a show that’s not PC you have to expect you’re going to get some blowback.  So that’s all right with me,” he says.

Morris has been making the most of his series hiatus time overseeing the move of his Garrett Morris Downtown Blues and Comedy Club in L.A..  “We wanted to stay downtown; we believe in it.  We believe that Downtown, in a few years, well be a very busy hub.  We just wanted to move to another spot here.  Where we were was so depressed, the recidivism factor was affected:  people wouldn’t come back.  We are now in a beautiful part of Downtown near where they do ‘America’s Got Talent,’ in a stretch that it more modernized.”

He’s off to a good start.  Last week’s relaunch of the club drew raves with comic Greg Proops headlining.  “I would like to have the club become as solidly an entertainment phenomenon as The Comedy Store or Laugh Factory.  But we have more than standup,” notes Morris.  “Our combination is different.  We have Deacon Jones and the band playing and a lot of great blues singers….I want to take my club into a comedy and blues variety type show like you had with the Cotton Club.  I think we have the ability to expand.”

He’ll spend some time in New York and The Big Easy before his hiatus ends.  “I’m from New Orleans, and I have a habit of going back there once or twice a year,” he explains.  And he’s looking forward to rejoining his “Broke Girls” companions, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, and co-creator/exec producer Michael Patrick King  — “even though they are young enough to be my grandchildren,” he says with a laugh.  “The ladies are very talented and attractive and they work as hard as Michael Patrick King, you know?  I do not discount at all the prominence of the show.  And for me to be working at this age is such a blessing.  I am blessed to have this show at the age of one hundred and three.”  Actually, he’s a mere child of 76, but who’s counting?

venice playbillA VIEW FROM THE BOARDS:  With his groundbreaking musical, Venice, now playing at New York’s Public Theater, playwright-on-the-rise Matt Sax isn’t sure what he will be doing next.  He has another project in the works called Up & ADAM, about “a guy who gets involved with the real-life super hero community – people who live at home with their parents and go out and fight crime at night.  It’s coming along great, actually,” he tells us.  However, “My sole focus right now is on being in New York and doing Venice.”

Not formally trained musically, “I learned how to make music in a whole different way over the past five years and I’ve developed a real love for it,” he says.  He wrote six new songs for the current incarnation of the show.

Sax and collaborator Eric Rosen continued making changes to their hip hop rock opera – which spins off of Shakespeare’s Othello, but is set in a dystopian near-future — throughout the years it has made its journey to New York.  He says they have been inspired by events from President Obama’s first nomination to the Arab Spring to the Boston Bombings.  Still, “The show has same heart and spirit it’s always had.  The story itself is very human…drama always comes down to individuals and to love and hate.”

 

Garrett Morris Loving ‘2 Broke Girls’ Success Despite Critics’ Jabs

 “2 Broke Girls” keeps defying the critical loathing aimed its way by being a ratings success — not to mention winning a People’s Choice Award for favorite new comedy — and costar Garrett Morris is quite cheerful about that.  “We’re not trying to be politically correct.  We’re not trying to be ‘Family Matters’ or ‘Facts of Life’ and be acceptable to everybody.  We’re not saying everyone is going to like us,” says the funny man who rose to fame on “Saturday Night Live” and now plays diner cashier Earl.  “We have a different approach.”

According to Morris, we haven’t seen the end of Earl’s interaction with the fetching Jennifer Coolidge (he found her so hot, he landed in the hospital on the Valentine’s Day episode).  But as far as Earl’s future, he says he’s happy to “let the writers surprise me.

“I’m enjoying myself.  It’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve been in in my life.  The ladies are great,” he says of Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.  “We change up sometimes and have one script one day and the next evening, another script, and they just jump in with energy, kicking any challenge.”

Morris, who was a music arranger and singer with Harry Belafonte before “SNL” — and had success in vehicles including “The Jamie Foxx Show” afterward — just celebrated his 75th birthday this month.  Besides being “Girls’” Earl, he gets great enjoyment out of owning and operating L.A.’s Downtown Comedy Club, and the fact young comics can hone their standup and be seen there.

As we speak, he lets us know that he just got word of a colleague’s death, which puts him in a reflective mood.  “I’ve been very fortunate.  There’ve been ups and downs, I haven’t been an angel.  In my career, I’ve had moments worthy of criticism, I’m aware of that,” he says.  “When you lose people or you’re ill for a minute, then you look around and see you’re still here, you have to thank providence, or God or whatever.  To live life fully and do what you want to do is such a gift.”