TRACY MORGAN presented by the Canadian International Comedy Fest at the Sony Centre (1 Front East). March 23 at 8 pm. Rating: N
Tracy Morgan is full of shit.
Literally. Most of his stand-up show, which he brought to the Sony Centre last Friday, concerned feces.
Or jerking off. Or ramming his lovely black cock ("shaped," he said, "like a Darth Vader helmet") down women's throats until they gag.
He's particularly fond of this last act. Apparently hearing a woman choke on his manhood makes him feel good. And let's be clear: Morgan's live comedy is all about making himself feel good - not the audience.
This is masturbation as stand-up.
And that's my main problem with his act: not its misogyny (more on that below); not the few bits of homophobia (he seemed extra careful about this, probably because of what happened to him in Nashville last year); and not the toilet humour, which is de rigueur in many comedy clubs.
Morgan sucks as a stand-up because he doesn't care about the audience. He makes no effort to connect with us. He simply proceeds to fuck us over in as brutal a way as possible, shoot his wad and then leave. The ironic joke? He's the one who collects the money.
I mention prostitution only because it underlies many of his jokes. Late in his monotonous, one-note set, he talked about being wealthy and worrying about gold-diggers taking advantage of him. As an illustration, he described going out for dinner with a woman who ordered the most expensive things on the menu. His response?
"One lobster tail equals three fingers in the butthole, minimum."
Misogynistic? You be the judge. "Women," he sighed, during another joke. "Can't live with 'em, can't break their fuckin' neck."
On the topic of Rihanna and her abusive former boyfriend Chris Brown, he said she was too young. "Tina Turner was well into her 30s [before she got beaten up]," he joked.
No surprise that when he repeatedly asked a female audience member sitting in the front row to offer up her "sex voice" for his microphone, she refused.
I'm not against crude comedy. A good comic exists beyond the realm of political correctness. Some of the funniest things tap into our subconscious fears and desires. There's nothing more subversive than when a comic says what people are thinking but are too afraid to say.
I'm not sure that's what Morgan is doing in his act, however. He seems to hate himself and hate the audience.
At times his show felt like a psychotherapy session, where he hinted at never recovering from being hurt as a young kid, or how his mother taught him about vengeance.
Only one of his extended jokes stood out. Comparing how white and black men respond to women they don't like, he described a white man murdering his wife, burying her in their basement and then joining the search party to look for her.
His "Tick tick boom" refrain about psycho white men was dead on. A black man, he implied, wouldn't do such a thing - he'd be more direct and shit on her car.
But here's the thing. By repeatedly calling himself a "perv" and "freak," Morgan tries to exonerate himself. The implication is that if we don't like his act we're being hypocritical.
I'm calling bullshit. He's just not funny.
Too bad the host and openers didn't have more time.
The smooth and relaxed Jean Paul delivered a polished set about being married to a Trinidadian woman, getting drunk at a wine tasting (probably not the best material for this particular rowdy crowd) and an extended story about one crazy comedy gig in Jamaica. When a heckler wanting to hear Morgan interrupted, the comic took the classy route and just ignored him.
I would have liked to have seen Trixx handle that heckler. As the night's host, he had the focus and authority to take control of the crowd early on, but never in a threatening way. He riffed on the ethnic makeup of the audience - his African bit was especially funny - and in one of his best jokes took us back to the schoolyard playground to look at the differences between girls and boys.
I hope Tracy Morgan heard that joke. Maybe he can learn a bit about comedy.