Starring Tracey Morgan
“That’s why I can’t watch American Idol. It’s like karaoke without the booze!” “Once I saw a video of a monkey washing a cat. THAT’S CRAZY!” “I love cornbread so much, I want to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant.” If you don’t recognize at least one of those quotes, shame on you for not knowing about one of the most hilarious men in comedy right now, Tracy Morgan. Known for his stint on SNL and for playing semi-autobiographical character Tracy Jordan on the hit show 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan is brilliant, sick, twisted, and a little troubled, as we see from his trouble with the law. Nevertheless, the people who are the most troubled are usually those who are the most hilarious. And so, his comedy special, Bona Fide should be a rip roaring good time, right?
“It’s gettin’ dark up in here.” Morgan repeats this phrase over and over again. It is the theme that ties this entire stand up special together. The entire routine is both about racial issues, as Morgan has a tendency to rant about, and how bad the world is getting. He taps into everything from family holidays to Black Friday and the infamous “N” word. And no one is safe either. He rags on everyone from Paula Dean to Miley Cryus, Prince, and, heck, even Oprah!
Since this is stand up and there is no through story line, I find it best if I just hit on the best and the worst. Tracy took some time to warm up and get his funny on… which I suppose is his style. You see, Morgan is in a strange genre of stand up comedians. He is not a quippy joke-teller like Seinfeld or Ellen Degeneres. Nor is he an impersonationist like Jim Carrey or Dana Carvey. No, Tracey Morgan is a special breed… who takes his strange breed of self-depreciation and mixes it with his zany personality that lies somewhere between Eddie Murphy and Mitch Hedberg.
Morgan’s brand of funny is almost like a Cohen Brother’s comedy film, like Fargo. At first you think, “Oh no, this is terribly offensive! I can’t laugh at this!” But then your walls break down, and you find yourself laughing at Morgan joking about letting Paula Dean call him a “N****” if she made him cornbread, collard greens, and fried chicken. Yes, even I laughed at it even though I hate the “N” word.
But something has changed. I will admit that although it was a little strange, I enjoyed seeing a softer side of Morgan. At one point, he speaks very fondly of his fiancé (probably now wife), and it’s quite nice seeing him talk about a woman who wasn’t in a pornographic film or in a strip joint. Well, it’s super sweet until he talks about everything that he does with her, and I mean EV-ER-Y-THING! Disclaimer: Morgan’s stand up is not for the faint of heart. If you have problems with talks of racism, sex, or anything else taboo, you will hate this, but honestly that’s the best stand-up there is.
All in all this is a funny watch, but… I’ve seen funnier. He’s edgy and funny, but I almost feel that the years have softened his edge. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s had Tina Fey write comedy gold for him for many years that he lost his writing skills. But it’s still a fun ride.
The video is fine. The special was filmed for Comedy Central and looks like it. I’m not saying it’s bad, but I’m not saying it’s fantastical either. I will say that I cracked up when Morgan took off his jacket at the end and he had underboob sweat. Haha.
Again, this is nothing to write home about, but there is nothing wrong with it either. A funny part having to do with sound, though, is when Tracy’s wireless mic chord comes undone from the pack on his back. The sound guy silently crept behind him to fix the chord, and without missing a beat, Tracy sees him and cracks a joke saying, “You didn’t tell me someone was behind me! I didn’t know if it was Paula Dean or Miley Cyrus comin’ after me!”
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Again, super duper average. The packaging looks OK. Honestly, they could have done a little better on this. The packaging looks like a basic DVD from the 1990’s. The Bonus Features are also super sparse. The only bonus feature they have is Tracy’s encore, which is indeed funny. It’s all about pornography, and how different black women and white women are in pornography. I won’t go into further detail. You can do that for yourself.
Overall (Not an Average)
Stand up comedy is hard. Just because you are funny and can write does NOT mean that you will make a good stand up comedian. Tracy is a good stand up comedian, but this is not the funniest routine I’ve ever seen. It’s a fun little ride, and it’s great for a quick watch, but I’m not sure if I’d invest in buying the DVD.