Tracy Morgan has become one of television’s most-loved personalities in recent years, thanks in large part to his over-the-top alter ego on “30 Rock,” but when it comes to defending his craft, Morgan doesn’t mess around.
On “The View” Thursday morning, the actor had a frank conversation with the show’s hosts regarding a skit from the recent live “30 Rock” episode featuring “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm in blackface that some deemed racist.
When asked about the eyebrow-raising sketch by Barbara Walters, Morgan responded, “Those people have to think outside the box. It was in the spirit of comedy,” explained the comedian. “It was in the spirit of Richard Pryor. It was in the spirit of Abbott and Costello. It wasn’t in a nasty spirit.”
Watch Jon Hamm and Tracy Morgan’s Controversial Skit from “30 Rock” Below:
“We’ve created a culture where people are very sensitive now about everything. Would Richard be able to survive this? Would George Carlin be able to?” asked Morgan.
“We’re making fun of the things that are happening out there. Would Archie Bunker be able to be on [today]? We make fun of racism, our foolishness.”
In terms of his own career, Morgan said he had never felt that his race played a role in his workplace dynamic. When Sherri Shepherd (who plays Morgan’s wife on “30 Rock”) asked what it was like to be the only black member of “SNL” at the time, Morgan said, “I never saw it that way … I wasn’t on that show ’cause I was black. I was on that show because I was funny.”
What Morgan doesn’t find amusing is Tina Fey‘s recent admission that the final days of “30 Rock” are near.
“I want to stay on forever,” said Morgan. “One thing I really don’t like on our TV is finales. I wish we could do this all year long and get a regular vacation, like people at FedEx.”