After jumping through way too many sequin hoops to pacify GLAAD after making a joke in a comedy club about stabbing his son in the face if he was gay, Tracy Morgan‘s standup routines are apparently going to be tediously policed for controversy so every special interest group gets a chance to make him show up at one of their events because that’s how we handle comedy in this post-Michael Richards hellscape we now live in. The New York Times reports:
During two hourlong sets on Saturday, Mr. Morgan did not repeat the bit that had gotten him in trouble, though his mind certainly went anywhere else that allowed him to imitate a bedroom or bathroom noise. He also made obviously facetious claims, saying he had been the assassin of Osama bin Laden, and variously describing himself as single, in a relationship, married and divorced. (He’s engaged with three sons from a previous marriage.)
Then, just before midnight, Mr. Morgan said he had something going through his mind “that I can’t share with y’all.” Though the audience goaded him to continue, Mr. Morgan said, “I can’t. I just got out of controversy, man. This is diabolical.”
After another brief flirtation with a woman in the crowd, Mr. Morgan turned sincere. “I love you all so much,” he said, “did I tell you that tonight? I’ve been in trouble lately, and this was big for me that you all came out.”
Whatever he had been accused of, Mr. Morgan said, “I don’t have that in me. I believe gay, straight, anybody, everybody’s supposed to be happy in this world, man.”
Resuming his routine, Mr. Morgan warned his audience, “Don’t ever mess with women who have retarded kids.” As groans and cries of “Uh-oh” were heard, he continued, “Them young retarded males is strong. They’re strong like chimps.”
Finally, he concluded with a bit about his alleged teenage romance with a girl he described as “a cripple” with a prosthetic arm, a mechanical larynx and a portable dialysis machine.
He facetiously claimed to have shot Bin Laden?! Heavens to Betsy! Alert the Veterans Administration while I fire up the Sensitivity Chamber. But, seriously, Louis CK tackled the issue of how fucking asinine it is to disseminate comedy routines in an interview with Slate during Stab-In-The-Head-Gate, so I’m going to defer this entire commentary to him because A. he’s funnier than me, and B. I’m still adjusting to a world where nothing short of angel rape fazes me anymore. (Yup, we’re still on that.)
“There’s a lot of times when I let myself channel bad ideas as a way to do comedy. I think it’s something that’s a healthy thing to do, honestly. And I think the person who really fucked people up and hurt people with Tracy’s words was whoever took it out of that Nashville club and put it on the national stage—whoever called Huffington Post or whoever started this shit, and said, “Guess what Tracy Morgan said,” and announced it to the rest of the world. He wasn’t trying to say it to the rest of the world. So when I read stuff like, How are gay people going to feel when they read this? Well they didn’t have to read it! They weren’t part of that show. Maybe there were gay people there who were laughing. You don’t fucking know. Nobody gets to say that they represent anybody and they’re offended on behalf of the whole world.
You can see this shit really bothers me. I didn’t carefully inspect what he said. I heard some of it, and it made me laugh. I didn’t get the context, but I have to defend it, because if I was in his role, if I was in his situation, which I might be someday—which I already am for having said something on his behalf—I would want someone to step forward and say something. This is a freedom that I live off of. I think, whatever, if Tracy made a mistake, he certainly didn’t deserve all of this. And I don’t know him well, but he’s a good guy. So I’m using that judgment, of just, hey, I met him and he’s a good guy. And I get a sense of him as a father, and there’s no way he would stab his kid.
It’s a dumb thing to take at face value. You’d have to be a moron. And if you do, you are not allowed to laugh at any more jokes. You are not allowed to laugh at any jokes that have any violence or negative feelings attached to them, ironically or otherwise. I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy in that. If anybody thinks that what he said is true and there’s no comedy in it, don’t come to my shows. I’ve said to many audiences that I think you shouldn’t rape someone unless you have a good reason, like you want to fuck them and they won’t let you. That’s worse than what he said! And I didn’t wink and say, just kidding. I just said it.”
Photo: Getty, WENN