I Liked Tracy Morgan On 30 Rock, But I Don’t Think He Should Have His Own Show

Tracy Morgan Seminole Casino Coconut Creek February 2013

Look, I’m a die-hard 30 Rock fan, and I’m always glad to see its cast getting work after the series. And I really enjoyed Tracy Morgan in his role as Tracy Jordan, plus he was funny on SNL and he’s entertaining when he’s just playing himself on the talk show circuit. But I don’t think he should have his own show. Unfortunately, the FX people don’t agree with me, because they gave him his own single-camera comedy called Death Pact. Sorry, Tracy, but I’m not on board.

The show is about a “formerly lazy, pot-dealing assistant high school coach, who returns to his hometown as a decorated war hero. He runs across three down-on-their-luck friends and former students and sucks them into his new radical self-help philosophy, which involves harsh consequences for failure.” That sounds pretty wacky, and we’re used to that from Tracy, but just because it works in small doses for a supporting character doesn’t mean it’ll work for a main character. The most extreme onscreen personalities tend to work best in smaller roles. Even if the main character is weird, they have to be normal enough for the audience to relate to.

Plus, Tracy already had his own sitcom, creatively titled The Tracy Morgan Show, and it was canceled during its first season. So we have historical proof that a show with him as the lead doesn’t work. Look, I get that he’s a big star and big stars have big roles, but sometimes it doesn’t make sense to organize things that way. It would be one thing if Tracy displayed a completely different persona off the screen than he does onscreen, but he doesn’t. He even continues to play characters who are also named Tracy! I don’t know if I can handle his “spinal cords and carseats” and “so-and-so is my biological father” style of comedy week in and week out in more than a few scenes per episode. I think I’ll stick to 30 Rock reruns.

The show will probably air on FX’s new comedy network FXX, which is not a typo resulting from leaving your finger on the X key too long, but rather the name of the actual network.

(Photo: JLN Photography/WENN.com)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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