Tag Archives: Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan: No Response From Family to His Autobiography

Tracy Morgan NBC photo

Tracy Morgan NBC photo

Tracy Morgan is back at work on “30 Rock” this week after doing the full court press for his “I Am the New Black” autobiography. The book has won widespread acclaim for its surprisingly serious, yet inspirational tone as the funnyman traces his life from a bleak inner-city childhood, his ex-heroin addict father’s AIDS death, his crack-dealing, his best friend’s murder.What’s been the response from his family?

“I haven’t gotten any responses. It’s going to take years for people in my family to get their hands on it,” says the seven-year “Saturday Night Live” veteran. “They probably don’t even know I wrote a book.”

He admits, “When I talk about my dad dying, I still get emotional and I cry. Or my brother’s legs,” he says of his disabled sibling. “It’s pretty intense.” For all that he reveals, he says, “That’s just the tip of the iceberg. You don’t know the half.”

For now, though, he’s having to “get beyond the seriousness of my life and get back to the funny.” Tracy has a full plate of comedy work and then some, with not only “30 Rock,” but hosting chores on the Syfy Channel’s “Scare Tactics,” toplining the New York Comedy Festival Nov. 6 at Carnegie Hall, and two movies. Those are the April release “Death at a Funeral” with Chris Rock, and his untitled Kevin Smith February release comedy with Bruce Willis that used to be known as “A Couple of Dicks.”

“How you do it is, you just breathe,” Morgan says. “Whatever it is you’re doing, don’t do stuff around it. Now, I will focus with precision on what I’m going to do onstage. God gives us all 24 hours in a day to mind our business.”

ROWDY INDEED: “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” is bringing in the big guns this week as popular 80’s icon, pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, is making a guest appearance as the gang decides to put on a wrestling show for the returning troops. Creator and star Rob McElhenney tells us they’re picky about their guest stars, but Piper hit it out of the park.

“It was absolutely amazing. We wrote this part for a wrestler and we weren’t sure if we should get a really great actor or a really great wrestler. Then, we found Roddy who was both,” says McElhenney of the episode airing tonight (10/29).

“We always try to bring interesting guest cast in. We have a lot of people who are interested in doing guest spots, but we don’t want to go too super famous with it. We feel like we already did that with Danny,” he notes of co-star Danny DeVito. “We like that the show feels a little bit gritty and dark. We want to keep it interesting in that you never know what you’re going to get.”

McElhenney, who created the show with friends Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day, tells us there’s a lot more in store for Season 5, and luckily, they’ve already been given a contract through Season 7. The guys are just glad that fans have picked up on what they’ve known all along.

“We saw the potential from day one and knew it could be a successful show. I think that’s an important factor in having a career specifically in Hollywood because there is so much backed against you. The odds are not in your favor so you have to have confidence and belief in what you’re doing. Otherwise, you get swallowed up by the machine.” Thank goodness they figured out the machine!

‘COMMUNITY’ MINDED: Uh-oh. Sharon Lawrence will be showing up on “Community” in coming weeks as “Chevy Chase’s girlfriend. My character is unique; she’s an escort, but she’s his girlfriend and it’s not a business relationship,” explains Sharon. “He admires and respects her business sense.”

The former “NYPD Blue” actress has been having a blast with guest shots this season, on shows including “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Drop Dead Diva.” Of the latter, she notes, “We’ll see what happens with my character on that show. Whether I come back depends on the storyline. I play the dead diva’s mother. But we’re talking about it.”

First up for Sharon is this Sunday’s (11/1) 17th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk in downtown Los Angeles, beginning at the Watercourt at California Plaza. Celebs including Michael Chiklis, Ken Howard, Bryan Cranston, Leeza Gibbons and Lea Thompson are expected to be among some 4,000 participants aiming to raise more than $750,000.

“The walk is a great chance for those of us who have a real, personal connection to Alzheimer’s to raise awareness, and it also creates a community of support,” notes Sharon, whose grandmother died of the disease. “My mother was her primary caregiver.”

She adds, “You know, Alzheimer’s keeps growing in numbers, although it’s easy to hide this in a way. A lot of people who are dealing with it are not out in the world. These walks allow us to come together and have the fellowship of people who’ve gone through this before.”

REUNITING AND IT FEELS GOOD: Those who enjoyed the Lisa Kudrow-Mira Sorvino 1997 hit movie “Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion” may be tantalized to learn that there’s a stage musical of the tale of those two wayward gals on the way and, yes, we could be looking at a Romy & Michelle on Broadway down the line.

The project, under the auspices of the La Jolla Playhouse’s artistic director Christopher Ashley, goes into rehearsal for a reading next month. Music and lyrics are by Brandon Jay and Gwendolyn Sanford.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Bruckheimer Talks ‘Treasure,’ ‘Pirates’ and Guinea Pigs

Jerry Bruckheimer photo by M. Rolston

Jerry Bruckheimer photo by M. Rolston

Super producer Jerry Bruckheimer tells us that he’s not sure when the next “National Treasure” will go into production, but he does know “We’ve got a really good story for that now. We’re working on it.

“And we’re working on another ‘Pirates,’ he adds, referring to the much-talked-about fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. “Hopefully we’ll start that next year. We’ve got a lot of good stuff coming up.”

Right now, the Friday (7/24)-opening “G-Force” is at the top of
Bruckheimer’s agenda. The live action-animation romp features the
voices of Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Sam Rockwell and Nick Cage – as a super spy unit consisting of three guinea pigs and a mole,
respectively.   Jon Favreau and Steve Buscemi also voice rodents in the
flick.

Did the stars say yes because it was Jerry calling?

“No,” he insists with a laugh. “It’s always the material. If they like
the material, they’ll say okay. We worked so hard on the script; that’s
always the hardest part.”

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy photo by D.J. Smith

MEANWHILE: We caught up with Bruckheimer at the film’s Hollywood
premiere the other day — as he was taking in the wild, movie-inspired games,0ther people-sized obstacle course and other activities at “The G-Force Experience” attraction that will be opening along with the film, across the street from the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.

Also among the notable names on hand were Jon Voight — who told us he
considers it “great news” that another “National Treasure” is in the
works — and Bill Nighy, who, of course, is Davy Jones to “Pirates”  movie fans. “I’m pleased to hear they’re doing another one.  I don’t know if I’m in it. I hope I am,” says Nighy.

Nighy is in “G-Force” as the appliance-manufacturing bad guy. “This is
the first guinea pig movie the world has ever known. We’re pioneers
here in the guinea pig world,” he declares.  The witty British thespian
admits he wondered about the idea of guinea pig heroes, but “as soon as
you read the script you realized it’s absolutely top class and
everything worked.”

As far as his role, Nighy confesses that he has had “half an eye on
world domination” for awhile. “I do have an inner fascist I access for
certain roles, so I know what it’s like to want to control everything.”
This week, he jets back to the U.K. to join the company currently
shooting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows,” playing Minister of
Magic Rufus Scrimgeour.  After that, says the actor who delights in mixing up big-budget popcorn flicks and sophisticated fare, “I’m going
to promote a movie called ‘Glorious 39,’” a conspiracy thriller with
Julie Christie, set in 1939. And, “I’m also going to promote a film
called ‘Wild Target,’ which is a remake of a French film, with myself
and Emily Blunt.”

He reports, “I play a middle-aged lonely assassin, a hit man who has never had a girlfriend or any feelings in that area, and everything is proceeding quite happily and he kills people quite successfully, until he’s required to kill Emily Blunt.  And he can’t pull the trigger and he doesn’t understand why. We know why: because she’s too cute. But it takes him the whole movie to work that one out.”

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIMEMelissa Peterman has had some cool
opportunities the last few years having starred on “Reba” for six
seasons and most recently hosting CMT’sThe Singing Bee.” The comedic actress says she owes it all to talent and a little bit of luck. “When
I came to L.A., I did one showcase with industry people there and I can
point back to almost every job I’ve gotten from that one night of
getting in front of the right people,” Peterman tells us. “You can be
wonderfully talented, but if you never get seen by the right person,
your talent doesn’t matter. You’ll
be the most talented person that nobody knows about.”

CHOP TALK: With Seth Rogan all set to play The Green Hornet, the
question becomes, who will play his trusty, martial artist sidekick
manservant, Kato. A casting call has gone out for prospects, with
producers indicating a willingness to consider knowns and unknowns of
any Asian ethnicity, as long as they have martial arts experience.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster