Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor … Carol Burnett? Tracy Morgan on His Influences

By ABC News

May 18, 2013 7:55am

In a lively and intimate interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters, actor-comedian Tracy Morgan said that he was inspired early on by Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, as well as “Jackie Gleason, watching ‘The Honeymooners,’ and then, on top of that, Carol Burnett.”

“She showed me the faces,” he said. “She always made faces when she did comedy. And I loved it.”

Morgan, after successful stints on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” has returned to his roots for a stand-up tour titled, “Excuse My French.” He will host the Billboard Music Awards Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Walters brought up how Morgan and his fellow “Saturday Night Live” cast mates made fun of her and her “The View” co-hosts.

“You did a wonderful impression of Star Jones,” she said.

“I remember seeing her in [an] elevator,” Morgan said. “I was so nervous … but she said, ‘It’s funny — keep doing it.’”

Watch the full interview — including Morgan on why he wasn’t a good drug dealer and how he quit drinking — on “Rock ‘N’ Royalty: Billboard’s All-Stars,” a special “20/20″ TONIGHT at 9 ET.

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