Recently, comedian and actor Tracy Morgan was a victim in a terrible six car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. A trucker who had been awake for over 24 consecutive hours is said to be the cause of the tragic accident. Tracy was rushed to the hospital where he is in critical condition. He is alive, but doctors claim his recovery will not be easy.
Tracy Morgan has spent well over a decade making us laugh with seven years and eight seasons as one of Saturday Night Live’s most hilarious (but underused) cast members. Morgan did some work in films like Kevin Smith’s Cop Out alongside Bruce Willis, and then went on to play Tracy Jordan in the acclaimed series 30 Rock, for which he won an Emmy Award.
Since Tracy has done so much to make us laugh and keep us happy, let’s take a look at some of his classic SNL characters and skits in hopes that he has the easiest possible recovery.
Brian Fellow is the flamboyant host of Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet; a show he hosts despite the fact he only has a sixth grade education. The character wears lip gloss and acts very effeminate in other ways, a trait of the character that is never actually addressed by any of the Safari Planet guests.
Fellow justifies his job as host, despite not having any credentials in zoology, with his “love for all of God’s creatures”. This claim couldn’t be further from the truth!
Throughout his show, Fellow becomes paranoid and thinks the animals brought on to his show are out to get him. On one occasion he thought a parrot was trying to steal his identity because it knew how to say his name. On another segment he imagined a snake was trying to punch his mom. He also thinks snakes work for the devil.
This is probably Morgan’s most well-known Saturday Night Live character outside of Astronaut Jones. The character has appeared ten times during Morgan’s time on the show.
Recipe for Astronaut Jones:
One cup cheesy science fiction television series from the 1950s and 1960s.
Three tablespoons 1970s blaxploitation films.
Add both contents to a large mixing bowl and stir. Allow the contents to cool in the refrigerator for three hours or until chilled.
Astronaut Jones is a space adventurer that explores the universe on behalf of the United States. Jones almost always finds himself on a planet populated by very attractive female aliens with large breasts, usually portrayed by female guest-hosts or musical acts. As the aliens explain their culture to Jones, he always follows, seemingly uninterested, then eventually asks them to step out of their clothes, generally in a much more forward and vulgar manner. Every skit ends the same way and it never gets old!
Woodrow the Hollywood Homeless Man
“Blasto! It’s me! Woodrow!”
Most Woodrow skits seem like they’re going to be a boring parody of a female guest-host’s life as a star. Then you hear those words and you know everything is going to be okay…and hilarious.
Woodrow somehow talks attractive female celebrities (always played by the real life actress or musician) into coming to his home in the sewers. Once there, Woodrow impresses them by answering calls from his stock broker (on a wooden block), shares his screenplays (written on various pieces of scrap paper), and serenades them. Within minutes the young starlet falls in love with Woodrow, only to have to eventually be called back to her Hollywood life by her peers.
Will Woodrow ever find the true love he deserves?
A popular thing they liked to do on Saturday Night Live was segments where Tracy, playing a parody of himself, stops and talks to a guest host backstage between skits. Generally he made the host feel uncomfortable by being extremely loud and sometimes vulgar. When he stopped Garth Brooks he kept asking Garth if he thought Chris Gaines “played for both teams”. Chris Gaines was a persona adopted by Garth Brooks when he recorded a rock album.
The highlight of these skits was when producer Lorne Michaels would attempt to get Tracy to leave the guest alone. It would then be revealed Lorne is scared of Tracy, usually by Tracy calling Lorne a b**** and forcing Lorne to get him a soda.
We’re all familiar with Aunt Jemima and her pancakes, but what about her husband who is apparently also named Jemima? Well he has a product he’d like you to try as well: Uncle Jemima’s Pure Mash Liquor!
This skit wasn’t a live one as they put a bit of production into the bit to parody Song of the South, a Disney musical from 1946 that many regard as racist for it’s rather rosy portrayal of race relations in the American South during the Reconstruction. The animated blue-birds that circled the head of Uncle Remus circled the head of Uncle Jemima too…except Uncle Jemima was the only person who could see them!
Darrell Hammond’s spot on Chris Matthews impression lead to some pretty comical moments in the Crossfire skits. None of these were more memorable than when Tracy Morgan joined the discussion as Harry Belafonte.
The running gag was Chris Matthews wanted quick and crazy quotes from Harry Belafonte to use as sound bytes. This resulted in Morgan (as Belafonte) to make a lot of wild statements by connecting race relations to pop culture. Some of the funniest moments are when he exclaimed, “Pokemon is a slave trade and Pikachu is a slave master!” and “Poodles are the black man of the dog world!”
Tracy Morgan plays the father of Bernard, played by giant-sized basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. Bernard comes home late from a date and his father still needs to let Bernard know who is in charge. Bernard’s father explains that Bernard isn’t too big to put over his knee, which he clearly is.
What ensues is a series of sight gags that include Bernard being spanked by Morgan and then being cradled in Morgan’s arms to discuss “the birds and the bees”.
A Holiday Treat For All
Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Horatio Sans play four men who love Christmas and have written a song for all to enjoy. These guys love Christmas so much that they will even sing about it on Easter. The bit is usually a musical number, it’s always the same music, but the lyrics are changed each time the skit occurs. The bit seems to be based on the types of musical acts that perform at Elementary schools.
All Morgan does in these bits is dance, but it’s one of those totally genius SNL bits that no one can quite explain why it’s so funny, but everyone agrees that it is.
During “Weekend Update” segments, SNL cast members are given opportunities to test out characters as commentators on current events. Morgan’s character, Dominican Lou, appeared as a commentator several times on the “Weekend Update” segments. As time went on and the character grew, he usually appeared to loud and enthusiastic applause from the live audience.
The funny part to the Lou bits was that he was a person that shouldn’t be giving much commentary at all on a news program due to a combination of his mangled and very trying English, and his only credential being a super at a Bronx apartment complex. He was usually brought on to discuss topics such as Kenneth Starr’s investigation into former President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. All he could say was he thought Clinton should break Starr’s arm!
When asked to comment on the years Oscar nominated movies, the closest Lou had been to seeing any of the movies was watching television shows. When asked what his favorite show was, Lou replied with, “reruns”.
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