‘Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive’ Comedy Special Review

Earnest And Hilarious, Tracy Morgan Proves He’s ‘Staying Alive’!

Things got pretty insane for comedian Tracy Morgan in the past few years. A year after his hit show ‘30 Rock‘ left television, Tracy Morgan was hit by a Walmart truck. This accident left him severely injured and killed one of his close friends. But none of that has stopped the man from telling the story with his unique brand of humor. In ‘Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive‘, Morgan doesn’t hold anything back and it’s a good thing he didn’t!

The set opens up with exactly what the audiences is thinking: “when will he talk about the Walmart accident?”. Tracy Morgan wastes little time, diving right into the hot topic. He makes a fun jab about thankfully it was Walmart and not a “Barb’s Discount Furniture” truck. He continues with the Walmart-themed jokes by saying he didn’t stop shopping there after the accident because “who could beat their low prices?”. Also loved the joke about everything going up a penny after this massive settlement. Something about this moment reminded me a lot of ‘Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip‘. That epic show came a few years after Richard Pryor’s freebasing accident and he dived right into it. Hearing Tracy Morgan deliver such a funny take on such a harsh reality is refreshing. It’s a perfect example of being able to laugh at yourself, even in the darkest of times.

Staying Alive

Tracy Morgan Live at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Things got a little messy for ‘Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive‘ when he touched on the popular subject of the Kardashian clan. This bit got a few laughs with Morgan joking about the family multiplying from 3 to 6 during his coma. And then he got to the topic of Caitlyn Jenner. After making an “anti-gay rant” in 2009 that offended the LGBT community, it got uncomfortable as Tracy Morgan went on about having sex with the trans woman Caitlyn Jenner. None of it was outright transphobic but it’s something that should’ve been cut out. It’s lazy shock humor that didn’t add anything to the overall show.

Thankfully, he didn’t stay on this topic for too much. After that small cringe-worthy dip, things kept up the pace and remained the perfect amount of politically incorrect humor with some heartfelt moments. Hearing Tracy Morgan’s unique outlook on his injuries and the long road to recovery turns out to be a compelling story of willpower. One of my favorite moments from the entire show was the bit about Tracy Morgan learning to re-walk while his 16-month old daughter is learning to walk. He said it’s a moment that bonded them for life and you can’t help but smile.

One of the main themes of ‘Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive‘ is his relationship with his wife. From their new marriage to her being by his side during recovery, this was another example of emotion and humor blending together. This set also paints a picture of his wife being a stern but compassionate soul.

Final Thoughts:

Part of why ‘Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive‘ works so well is the amazing comeback story. Seeing Tracy Morgan put tragic years behind him and move forward with this comedy special speaks volumes to his spirit.

But this doesn’t get praise because of a sympathy story. The humor is on brand for the comedian but feels different this time around. Things are still raunchy and offensive but it doesn’t seem malicious and there are some positive messages sprinkled throughout.

Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive‘ debuts on Netflix on May 16th, 2017!

Will you be tuning in? Let me know in the comments below!

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno