Tag Archives: Rob McElhenney

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