All Articles Tagged "Tracy Morgan"
Sometimes it’s hard to come by a check in Hollywood but these celebs, they had no problem finding not one but two gigs at the same time.
Niecy Nash had us in tears as Deputy Raineesha Williams on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!” Since then Nash has padded her resume with numerous guest appearances, along with her own reality show. Finding a regular check with TV Land, Nash plays a preacher’s wife opposite Cedric the Entertainer on “The Soul Man.” Nash is once again flexing her comedic acting chops with another show. The married mother of three plays a nurse at a geriatric ward inside of a hospital on HBO’s “Getting On,” based on a British show of the same name.
Kenan Thompson, one of two black performers on Saturday Night Live‘s current cast, shares his thoughts on why black comediennes (black women comics) can’t seem to find work at his job. According to TV Guide:
“Instead of blaming showrunner Lorne Michaels or the series, which currently only employs three actors of color out of 16 cast members (Thompson, Pharaoh and the Iranian Nasim Pedrad), Thompson blames the lack of quality black female comedians. ‘It’s just a tough part of the business,’ Thompson says. ‘Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.’”
Honestly, I think that Thompson’s mere existence on the show probably is the best evidence as to why this is not a matter of an inability to find “ready” black comediennes. Here’s what I mean:
All snark aside, SNL hasn’t been “Must See TV”-funny since, I would estimate, the years of Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Tim Meadows, Tracy Morgan and Cheri Oteri. Now I know that some may argue that the Tina Fey years were thoroughly entertaining or that the show hasn’t been seriously funny since way back in season eight when Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo, who were both major influences on the writing team, dominated the stage. But I think we all can agree that the comedy series doesn’t have the same spark it once had. Outside of topical political and pop culture events, which for the most part are easy targets to spoof, and some musical guests and famous hosts, who serve as great draws for viewers, the show has comically struggled as of late to give us memorable signature characters and skits of its own.
I wouldn’t say that Thompson isn’t a funny guy; The Steve Harvey Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and White People Problems are probably two of my favorites when it comes to his sketches. However, in the decade that he has been a cast member, Thompson has yet to develop a signature character, which connects with viewers. It’s a shame because most of the SNL greats had one: Dana Carvey had the Church Lady; Tim Meadows had the Ladies Man; and even Molly Shannon (known for Mary Katherine Gallagher) and Ana Gasteyer scored big with their “Delicious Dish/Schweddy Balls” NPR-spoof. Who is Thompson most notable for? Pretty much, DeAndre Cole and What’s Up With That? While it was probably entertaining the first time it was done, it certainly doesn’t read into a spin-off movie or television show material.
Thompson’s point about the competitiveness of the audition process is not without merit though. Saturday Night Live is a weekly series performed live, therefore, the turnaround time for brainstorming, writing and then producing each sketch is probably ridiculously short. And according to this interview in the New York Times about the 39th season changes (including several new hires – none of which were black women), SNL head cheese Lorne Michaels took pride in his process, which takes place in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and says he is not just interested in commercially funny people, but rather a total package. According to the article:
“’You can’t be famous before you’re famous,’ he said. ‘It’s one thing to be on a stage in Chicago or L.A.; it’s another thing to be standing in 8H,’ he said of the show’s studio. ‘It’s like standing in Yankee Stadium. They can all play baseball, but this is something different. And the weight of all that was just more palpable to me this summer, more than ever before.’ (Mr. Michaels is also supervising the ascension of Mr. Fallon to “The Tonight Show” this season, another job as executive producer.)”
But it is hard to understand exactly what Michaels, as well as the other decision makers, define as Yankee Stadium caliber when the entire joke around Thompson’s most notable character is that he can play a Jheri Curl wearing, church suit rocking, lisp-having talk show host, who likes to sing the same chorus of “What’s Up With That” every time his “guest” tries to talk. I mean, if this is a spoof of a BET-like show, make sure it’s something familiar and relatable to the actual thing you are likely to see on BET. Maybe it’s not Thompson, maybe it’s the writers (according to SNL‘s website, Thompson is not listed as a writer on the show) who solely come up with the material for him to play. And maybe it’s the directors who tell him to give them more lisps and bugged-out eyes. Would it be fair to put the blame on Thompson’s talent as a comedian if a concept itself lacks a degree of wit and cleverness? Or do we place the blame squarely at the feet of those decision makers, whose ideas of Yankee Stadium-level comedy is the same tired ol’ stereotypical cheap laughs?
You have to wonder why Thompson didn’t take the opportunity he had with this platform given in the interview with TV Guide to co-sign co-star Jay Pharoah’s recent comments about his strong desire to see a black female cast member on Saturday Night Live. Pharoah even went as far as to name a comedienne he had in mind as a perfect fit for the cast without bad mouthing his employer in the process. You would think that a little diversity by way of a black woman might be aggressively pushed by Thompson since I’m sure he does not desire to do the black man in drag thing anymore.
Maybe it’s a matter of self-preservation? After all, according to Hollywood physics (with a side of geometry), no more than two black people can exist on the same plane without the word imploding. Add another popular black person to the cast – even if she is female – and likely Brother Thompson might be asking “what’s up with that?” if he gets a pink slip. See? Who says black women aren’t funny?
For many celebrities, a chunk of the bread and butter comes from side hustles as product spokespeople. And more companies are turning to a diverse group of celebs to serve as the face of their products. For example, we reported recently on new gigs for Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and astronaut Dr. Mae Jamison were just tapped as spokespeople for two separate major advertising campaigns. There have however been some notable campaigns using black spokespeople. We take a look at some of our favorite African-American celebrity spokespeople.
A day after news of women walking out of Tracy Morgan’s comedy set in the land down under hit the U.S., Billboard just made a very interesting announcement. Tracy Morgan will be hosting the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.
According to Billboard, Tracy is just one highlight — if you’re not put off by his racy routine — of the show:
As host of the awards, Morgan joins a lineup of performers that includes Justin Bieber, Miguel, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. The show will also include a highly anticipated performance by Prince, who is receiving the Billboard Icon Award at the telecast, produced by Don Mischer and sponsored by Chevrolet and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Tracy appears to be pretty excited about the opportunity as well, telling Billboard:
“I’m honored to be a part of one of music’s biggest nights,” Morgan said. “When you look at the artists who have come up through Billboard over the years, it’s incredible. And how can you say no when Prince is going to be there!”
Great question. Voting is now open on Billboard’s website for the Milestone award which gives fans the chance to vote for their favorite artist online and enter a contest to win an opportunity to present the award live at this year’s event alongside Cee Lo Green. Justin Bieber, Miguel, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars are all up for the award, along with The Band Perry and Pitbull. If you’re interested in voting for your favorite artist you can do so at Billboard.com/milestone and hold out to see who gets the coveted honor when the show airs Sunday, May 19, on ABC.
How do you think Tracy will do as a host?
Comic Tracy Morgan is firing back at women’s rights groups following fierce criticism of his shows in Australia and calls to boycott the rest of his tour Down Under.
The comedian suffered a mass walk-out during his performance in Melbourne on April 13, with fans and critics subsequently complaining about the overly sexual references and explicit content.
Women’s rights activists, including Melinda Tankard Reist, who runs female-focused campaign group Collective Shout, branded Morgan’s show sexist and called for fans to boycott the rest of his dates.
Read more at EurWeb.com.
Tracy Morgan believes his former “30 Rock” co-star Alec Baldwin should APOLOGIZE IMMEDIATELY if he used the C-word toward a black photog … claiming that particular racial slur is simply “played out.”
Morgan just appeared on the “Drex and Maney Show” on WNKS in Charlotte … and said, “If [Alec] called somebody a fool, he should apologize.”
Read more at TMZ.com.
If you’re not into NFL football, Super Bowl parties or even Beyonce for that matter, Sunday’s big game might not be a highlight for you, but the multi-million dollar commercial advertisements might be!
You might have already seen a few ads here or there gearing up for the Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Fransisco 49ers and the record-breaking audience it will receive, including Beyonce’s Pepsi ad for her sponsored halftime show, but there are many more to come. From big household names like Toyota to smaller, but well-established products like Mio drinks, we are anticipating some of the biggest Super Bowl commercials ready to premiere this coming Sunday evening. Are you?
The list of summer celeb babies just keeps growing longer by the day. People mag has just reported that funnyman Tracy Morgan and his fiancée, 26-year-old model Megan Wollover, are expecting a little bundle a few months from now.
“I am over the moon excited and just want a happy and healthy baby and a safe delivery for Megan,” the 30 Rock star and comedian told People.
The baby will be the first for the couple who announced their engagement in September 2011, six months after the proposal. Tracy, who’s 44, has three adult sons, Bobby, Tracy Jr., and Chris, with his ex-wife. Tracy divorced his high school sweetheart, Sabrina, on August 7, 2009, after 23 years of marriage.
The actor recently told Rolling Stone, in an interview on “The Last Days of 30 Rock,” that he hopes to have a baby girl the fourth time around. And after dealing with numerous health problems, like being diagnosed with diabetes in 1996 and undergoing a kidney transplant in December 2010, he’s just looking forward to enjoying a similar life. He told the mag:
“You know what happiness is? Happiness is a simple thing, man. It’s having something to look forward to.”
Here’s to the couple happily welcoming their child this summer!
For anybody who ever tuned in to “Showtime At The Apollo” back in the day, you know brutal it can be for contestants to get booed off the stage. If you’re horrifically bad and don’t realize it, not only will the crowd let you know, but they’ll send the Sandman on you; the tap-dancing man thirsty for his own 15-20 seconds of notoriety during each airing. And while most people who get booed, denied a W and even kicked off the stage at the sound of the loudest horn go on to fade into obscurity, there have been a few celebrities who managed to get through the embarrassment and blow up big by cultivating their talents. Here’s nine comedians and singers who got the last laugh.
From Eur Web
Paramount Pictures and director John Singleton have reached a settlement to end litigation stemming from a 2005 deal for the breakout hit “Hustle and Flow,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
THR’s Eriq Gardner reports:
Singleton sued Paramount and MTV Films in October 2011, originally claiming he was owed at least $20 million for alleged breaches of contract and fraud.
Read more at EurWeb.com.