Oct. 20, 2009 — -- He might seem unnerving and irreverent, disturbing and downright insane, but you've got to give Tracy Morgan credit: the man thinks like no one else ever to grace the face of the earth, past, present, and probably future.
In "I Am the New Black," the "30 Rock" mainstay reveals where he came from, how he rose through stand-up comedy's rough ranks to spend seven years on "Saturday Night Live," who, exactly, he really is, and where he's headed. To read the almost 200-page-thick tome, co-written with Anthony Bozza, is to trip down a path as strange as it is hilarious, as dark as it is uplifting.
But we're wasting words -- better to let the man speak. (And he did today, to ABCNews.com, about his love for Wendys and how the new season of "30 Rock" promises to be as "funny, funny, funny" as the last one, all while walking through a revolving door in the same compartment as this reporter.)
Below, check out the 15 most shocking, for myriad reasons, bits from "I Am the New Black." To relish the full ride -- including many more passages that can't be posted here -- pick up the paper copy, in bookstores today.
WARNING: Explicit Content Follows
1. On using humor as armor: "This mouth of mine and my goofy face have kept me from getting shot many times, particularly that one time when I stole a drug dealer's girl."
2. On hating ex "SNL" cast members: "I had my finger on the pulse of urban comedy, but when I brought my act to 'SNL,' those motherf*****s just felt bad for me. None of the cast i came up with saw this future for me. No, sir. All i have to say about that is, where's Chris Katan now? Where's Cheri Oteri now? That b***h can't even get arrested. ... It's all right; I don't mind. It's hard to get mainstream America to catch up. Mainstream America has just learned the words to Sugarhill's 'Rapper's Delight'! And we don't do that s*** no more! Jay-Z and Lil Wayne don't sound like that! No one sounds like that no more!"
3. On being an "SNL" minority: "I knew the score; this was a white show and I was the token black guy. That didn't bother me; I was used to those odds. Of course Will Ferrell fit in every sketch they'd ever come up with, but not me. That's just how it was, so my answer to that was being as funny as a motherf****r whenever I got the ball."
4. On loving fellow "30 Rock" impresario Tina Fey from the moment they met at "SNL": "Once Tina and I got together, it was over. Tina wasn't scared to come into my world and find the funny up in there. She's that kind of cool. Tina Fey, you know most of all what you did for me. Look at me, Tina Fey! I have to say it now and I'll say it again: I LOVE YOU, GIRL. I will always rock with you because you know my voice better than I do sometimes."
5. On Tracy Morgan vs. his "30 Rock" character, Tracy Jordan: "I'm not evil, I'm not diabolical, I'm just a funny motherf****r. So [Tina Fey] created a character that gave that to the world. A character who says, 'Here is Tracy Morgan's beauty.' ... Tracy Jordan is based on everybody that ever wigged out, myself included ... I didn't become Tracy Jordan, and Tracy Jordan isn't just Tracy Morgan with a different name. If you have any doubt about that, consider this: Our last, most successful season of the show, Season 3, I did entirely sober. I worked out as much as I could during that season, and I ate right for the first time in my life."
6. On opportunity: "They say when opportunity knocks you should let it in and invite it to sit at your table. F*** that -- when opportunity knocks, you should take it captive. Beat that s*** down. I've got opportunity tied to a chair in my basement with a ball gag in its mouth. Opportunity ain't even thinking about leaving my house. If you keep quiet for a second, you'll hear it whining."
7. On appreciating the ladies: "I've a girlfriend who is good to me, and there's no shortage of women I'd like to get pregnant."
8. On what he really thinks of his name: "Because let's face it -- Tracy Mogan? That's an Irish female's name. With a name like that, I should have red hair, blue eyes, and big t***s. I should be in a green bikini on a float every March."
9. On the Vietnam War, in which his father fought: "Vietnam was like a big girl everybody in the 'hood had been with but no one greeted on the street. Vietnam was a fat girl with gonorrhea; it was an embarrassment that nobody in America would be able to forget."
10. On a call to arms for black fathers raising daughters: "All you single fathers got to man up. ... Every black man has got to realize that if he's man enough to make a son, he'd better damn well be ready to be a dad. If you're not a leader, leave the condom on!"
11. On sex and dancing differences between the races: "Sex is a funny thing -- it's all hush-hush in the suburbs, but in the ghetto it's everywhere. That's the same reason white men can't dance. Black people dance well because we start early -- there's music being played everywhere. White people? They don't start dancing until they get to college, and by then it's too late; the bottom don't move with the top no matter how hard they try."
12. On losing his virginity at age eight: "I was eight and my brother Jim was ten, and we had a babysitter who gave us each a piece. ... I don't count that as losing my virginity -- I did that when I was twelve -- but I guess it was. My brother liked it but I didn't. I actually cried after that. I remember she gave me a stack of Oreo cookies to keep me quiet. It wasn't the only time it happened either. Damn. Memories.
13. On working hard for the money: "I've got friends who want money but don't want to do anything to earn it. They won't hold down a f*****g McDonald's job to feed their own kids, but now that I've got money they want to come and work for me. I don't know what the f*** makes them think i want them working for me if they won't get off their a** to provide for their own family. I've lost a lot of friends that way, friends who feel like they deserve a place on my payroll. They don't get it: I don't need an entourage. I don't need motherf*****s to play Xbox with me. I'd rather pay Xbox with my kids."
14. On moving homes in the ghetto:"Anybody who's lived in the ghetto knows that you don't move during the daytime. Here's why: You don't want anyone to know you're leaving, and you don't want anyone knowing where you're going. You don't want anybody seeing your s*** and knowing where they can get their hands on it. If they see you moving out, you can be damn sure they'll be sitting there on the sidewalk with an adding machine, totaling up how much they can get when they rob your new place."
15. On what's next: "I've always liked exotic pets, and now I can afford to fill my luxury apartment with them. I've got a $30,000 jellyfish tank, tarantulas, bird-eating spiders, eels, snakes, dogs, piranha and sharks. I'm like Michael Jackson!"